Medical AMOrthopedic Implants

How medical companies use AM for production today, part 3: Lima Corporate

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

For our AM Focus Medical this month we continue to zoom in on the many possibilities that additive manufacturing is offering today to medical companies. We are now taking a closer look at Lima Corporate additive manufacturing activities. In the previous episodes, we looked at one of the largest companies to operate in this segment, Stryker, Texas-based Osseus, a very dynamic young medical AM firm. Upcoming episodes will continue to include many different types of players in this segment, ranging from highly innovative startups and SMEs to giant multinational corporations. Stay tuned: at the end of the month, all the best content will be featured in 3dpbm’s Medical AM Focus 2020 eBook.

Lima is one of the originators of additive manufacturing in the orthopedic industry, and one of the earliest customers of Arcam’s EBM powder bed fusion technology. Lima is headquartered in Italy, with two major production facilities, and has been expanding internationally.

Since 2000, Lima has specifically focused on the orthopedics market, and currently markets a variety of metal-based devices for joint replacement in the hip, knee, and shoulder primarily. It also offers Promade services for patient-specific implants made via additive manufacturing. Lima’s use of additive manufacturing began in the acetabular hip cup segment and has since expanded to include knee and shoulder replacements.

As of 2017 Lima owned and operated 15 Arcam EBM systems. Today the number of internal systems is expected to have grown significantly and the company reported doubled its manufacturing capacity through the expansion of an existing production facility in 2018. In 2019 Lima launched a new Research & Innovation Center (R&I Center) and an Advanced Laboratory for Testing and Analysis (ATLAs). The new facilities, based at Lima Corporate’s headquarters in Udine, Italy, are dedicated entirely to 3D printing and advanced testing applications.

Lima Corporate Additive Manufacturing

Spanning nearly 1,000 square meters, the new facilities serve to “strengthen the collaboration” between Lima Corporate’s various departments with a view to creating new and innovative product solutions. The R&I Center houses a range of additive manufacturing and medical imaging equipment and will be operated by a team of over 50 engineers. At the center, the team uses 3D printing, as well as valuable data gathered in each production job, to develop state-of-the-art orthopedic implant solutions. and has continued to grow since.

This indicates that Lima, despite its modest overall size (below 500 million in annual revenues), which pales in comparison to the largest multi-billion dollar medical device groups active in this segment, is nevertheless one of the largest users of AM technology in the industry.

Lima Corporate Additive Manufacturing

The estimated machine capacity indicates that Lima is utilizing metal AM to produce a fairly significant portion of its device catalog today beyond just acetabular cups. At least one product in its shoulder segment wears the “TT” designation which stands for Trabecular Titanium, the trade name for Lima’s 3D printed device technology.

In 2019, Lima opened the first additive manufacturing facility for custom implants in a hospital environment at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), in New York City, one of the top orthopedic hospitals in the U.S., to establish the first additive manufacturing facility for custom implants in a hospital environment. This represents a major departure in the typical industry relationship between device companies and surgeons, with the focus being put on patient-specific implants used for complex cases under compassionate use exemptions for implantable devices.

The collaboration between Lima and HSS is not unprecedented, as the NYC-based hospital has ordered patient-specific implants from the Italian company’s headquarters since 2016. These implants, part of Lima’s proprietary Trabecular Titanium offering, have been used in recent years to treat highly complex orthopedic cases.

Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services


Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.