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3D printing for medical device prototypes

April 11, 2022

3D printing technology, through the working principle of layering processing and superposition molding, the raw materials of different materials are superimposed layer by layer so that the products can be quickly formed.


3D printing technology can realize the 3D processing of polymer materials, ceramics, common metal materials, synthetic materials, etc. With the continuous integration of multiple disciplines and in-depth research,3D printing technology is widely used in people's production and life.


It is more mature in the field of medical equipment. At present,3D printing technology is mainly used in implantable bionic devices, surgical medical models, and guide plates in medical device products, bringing more possibilities to the development of clinical medicine.


For example, 3D-printed hip joints, livers, and other organ tissues. In medical device r&d and production, enterprises have focused on 3D printing technology, hoping to realize the transformation of advantages and improve the core competitiveness of products through 3D printing technology.


(1) Human implants

In modern medicine, 3D printing technology can be used in bone repair and the replacement direction of all-important joints and is widely used in more sophisticated operations such as teeth, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular.


Currently, CaCO3 is the primary raw material of 3D printed bones, and Zn, Si, and other elements are added to improve the hardness so that the implanted material can support its weight.


Traditional clinical bone surgery, defects or necrotic bone will appear because of different parts of the size, shape, pain, precision of the implants put forward the higher request, this will increase the difficulty of operation, and the emergence of 3 d printing, can solve this problem, a basic implementation the customization of medical implants.


For example, materials needed in bone surgery (such as stainless steel, cobalt-chromium alloy, and titanium alloy) can be combined with 3D printing technology, using laser beam, electron beam, and other technologies or processing technology to achieve mass production of products.


In addition, 3D printing technology can produce different micro-holes according to specific needs, improving the stability of metal and other materials after entering the body and reducing the occurrence of rejection.


(2) Surgical guidance template

In clinical medicine, the traditional surgical guide can only be completed with the cooperation of template facilities and other tools when it is implanted into the human body. More complicated operations can be completed with the help of imaging equipment.


Although this technology can effectively relieve patients' pain, it is difficult to operate, expensive, and has low clinical popularization and penetration rate.


Modeling and 3D printing technology can not only effectively reduce the probability of radiation exposure of 3D printing plate in art, make the distribution of radiation dose more uniform, improve the fit between human body and bone, effectively reduce the probability of infection and postoperative complications, and improve the success rate and safety factor of surgery.

(3) Bio-printing

Bio-printing technology uses human somatic tissue as material, bio-ink as an auxiliary agent, and CAD modeling technology to print biological properties and relatively complex tissues or organs with delicate internal structures.


From the current situation, the development of this technology depends on the diversity of biological materials, tissue cell culture, and other breakthroughs in related disciplines. As this technology matures, printing and producing human organs and tissues in batches will be possible. Patients who need organ transplants will be able to get a new life through this technology.