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How medical companies use AM for production today, part 13: Boston Scientific

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Welcome to this month’s AM Focus Medical. For the entire month of February, we are going to zoom in on the many possibilities that additive manufacturing is offering today to medical companies. In this episode, we look at Boston Scientific additive manufacturing and how one of the largest medical companies in the world is working with some of the smallest metal 3D printed components ever created. More episodes are still to come. At the end of the month, all the best content will be featured in 3dpbm’s Medical AM Focus 2020 eBook.

Boston Scientific produces a large range of medical devices used to diagnose and treat patients with issues in the areas of cardiology, urology, endoscopy and many more. It was founded in 1979 with the aim of creating less invasive medical devices and procedures, they continue to innovate across expanding areas of medicine. They estimate that around 21 million people were treated with one of their products in 2014. Boston Scientific currently employs approximately 29,000 people across 40 countries and recorded revenues for nearly $10 billion in 2018.

There are currently three Boston Scientific manufacturing sites in Ireland – Galway, Cork, and Tipperary. Established in 1994, the Galway site is the largest in the country providing research and development, manufacturing, regulatory affairs, and new product development. The Cork site was opened in 1998 and manufactures a range of devices across several areas of the business. In Clonmel, they have a focus on the development, manufacture, and distribution of defibrillators and pacemakers – the Cardiac Rhythm Management area is an area of high potential and growth for the company. These sites export approximately 10 million devices every year.

Boston Scientific Additive Manufacturing

Boston Scientific develops new components using 3D metal printing technology. The company’s metal additive machines are used to produce complex components and parts that traditional machining processes are not capable of. The internal additive manufacturing team is a partner for growth for other Boston Scientific sites around the world. They use AM systems to rapidly create and test prototype components, reducing the time from product concept to regulatory approval. The level of support and knowledge that the team provides is growing as it continues to engage with divisions across the globe.

In 2018 Boston Scientific began officially collaborating with 3D MicroPrint. Boston Scientific deployed the DMP63 from 3D MicroPrint in its plant in Clonmel, Ireland since June 2017. Boston Scientific and 3D MicroPrint jointly work together since 2014 to make sure the solution from 3D MicroPrint fits the needs of Boston Scientific perfectly. As a result, 3D MicroPrint designed a new machine generation, the DMP63, according to Boston Scientific’s requirements.

Boston Scientific Additive Manufacturing

The DMP63 is an ideal supplement to the existing solutions of 3D MicroPrint to achieve high flexibility, low operating costs and user-friendliness, still focusing on the best detail resolution, accuracy and surface quality. It includes a zero-point clamping system for easy post-processing at the highest accuracy-level, based on industry standards. The new square platform 60×60 mm and the high-power-laser improve productivity.

By combining state-of-the-art metal AM with innovative medical solutions, Boston Scientific can shorten the product development life cycle through rapid manufacturing and iteration while meeting critical dimensions and repeatability required in production. There is far less material waste because parts are fabricated layer-by-layer. Using the state of the art AM machines Boston Scientific is able to realise novel design concepts for new products which are not possible with current manufacturing technology.” About Boston Scientific Boston Scientific Clonmel is at the forefront of some of the industry’s most complex medical devices. The pacemakers, defibrillators, spinal cord stimulators and deep brain stimulator

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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 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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