Orthopedic Implants

The medical sector is among the largest adopters of 3D printing technologies, which are used for the production of prosthetics and implants. 3D printed orthopedic implants. Knee and hip, but also spinal and CMF, implants are among the clearest examples of digitally, additively mass-produced final parts. And they are also among the first products that could be fully mass-customized.

The history of additive manufacturing for orthopedic implants dates back over a decade, with the earliest estimates for patient-specific implants being manufactured via AM around 2007. In 2010, Lima Corporate, an early adopter of electron beam-based powder bed fusion technology from Arcam received one the very first FDA approvals for an orthopedic implant made via additive manufacturing.

Since these and other pivotal early achievements, the orthopedic implant industry has been somewhat quietly revolutionized by additive manufacturing. Over the past few years, the penetration rate for additive production of industry standard-sized implants has been expanding rapidly towards a future where a majority of implants are produced additively. This expansion is happening in numerous implant areas including spinal, hip, knee, and other types of implants (where annual procedures are also growing).

Case studies for more standardized implants made additively have begun to further fuel the drive towards enabling more widespread use of true patient-specific devices. In this area, additive manufacturing represents the only true path to economic viability and production feasibility for implants designed and shaped to a specific patient with unique trauma, degenerative disease, or birth defects. Indeed, additive manufacturing will be a key piece of the holy grail of orthopedic (and other medical) care, in which physical solutions are tailored to the exact needs of an individual patient.

As a global opportunity within the broader AM market, orthopedic implants are growing to expand into new areas. The low-hanging fruit that has powered the industry thus far remains in standardized implants fabricated in widely accepted alloys such as titanium. True patient-specific devices using these technologies and materials appear to be an inevitable growth extension where lower volumes and higher potential values per device exist.

Meanwhile, new developments in the additive fabrication of more advanced implants, including biodegradable and lightweight reinforced polymers, present cutting-edge, green field growth scenarios in an already booming ‘additive orthopedic’ market.

  • Chestergates Veterinary Hospital, in collaboration with Fusion Implants, use 3D printing to enable paralyzed puppy to walk again.

    A six-month-old Cockapoo puppy has regained the ability to walk thanks to a pioneering 3D printed spine procedure performed by a leading veterinary team at Chestergates Veterinary Hospital in Chester,…

  • restor3d closes $70 million funding round - led by Summers Value Partners and existing investors, with debt financing led by Trinity Capital.

    restor3d, a company specializing in personalized 3D printed orthopedic implants, has closed a $55 million Series A funding round – led by private investors including Summers Value Partners and existing…

  • BellaSeno receives financial support from Queensland government to establish facility for 3D printed medical implants, in Australia.

    The Australian subsidiary of BellaSeno, an ISO 13485-certified medtech company developing resorbable scaffolds using additive manufacturing technologies, has recently received financial assistance through the Queensland government’s Industry Partnership Program. The…

  • Indian metal AM service provider Incredible 3D reported it has successfully 3D printed over 3,000 patient-specific implants as of April 2024. The company’s pioneering efforts in AM began in 2018…

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers heal broken bones using machine learning, optimization, and 3D printing.

    According to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, natural materials like bone, bird feathers, and wood have an intelligent approach to physical stress distribution, despite their irregular architectures. However, the relationship…

  • HSS leverages 3D printing for patient-specific joint replacements - the first hospital in the US to house a facility for custom implants.

    At the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), a 3D printer is manufacturing custom-made joint replacements for highly complex cases when a standard ‘off the shelf’ implant won’t work. HSS was…

  • ArcomedLab reaches 700 3D printed craniomaxillofacial implants, and appoints Daniel Martínez as Innovation Strategy and Growth Manager.

    ArcomedLab, a Chilean-North American company specializing in biomedical 3D printing, has reportedly achieved the largest case list in the world for craniomaxillofacial implants. With a remarkable 700 successful cases across…

  • 3D Systems achieves 510(k) clearance for PEEK cranial implants. The FDA has approved the 3D printed VSP PEEK Cranial Implant solution.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided 510(k) clearance for 3D Systems’ 3D printed, patient-specific cranial implant solution – VSP PEEK Cranial Implant. VSP PEEK Cranial Implant includes a…

  • BellaSeno receives financial support from Queensland government to establish facility for 3D printed medical implants, in Australia.

    A team at the Hannover Medical School, Clinic for Trauma Surgery has successfully used a customized, resorbable bone replacement scaffold produced by BellaSeno, an ISO 13485-certified medtech company developing resorbable…

  • Zeda acquires The Orthopaedic Implant Company (OIC) - enabling Zeda to produce OIC’s implants and provide implants to patients worldwide.

    Zeda, an innovative healthcare solutions provider utilizing additive manufacturing technology, has acquired The Orthopaedic Implant Company (OIC), an orthopedic implant company recognized as a leader in value-based implants. This acquisition…

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