Orthopedic Implants

The medical sector is today the largest adopters of 3D printing technologies for the production of consumer-targeted items, including prosthetics and implants. 3D printed orthopedic implants – especially knee and hip, but also spinal and CMF – are among the clearest example 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 earliest estimates for patient-specific implants being manufactured via AM around 2007. In 2010, 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 two 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 is 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.

  • Bond3D enables the printing of personalized PEEK spinal cages. Developed in partnership with Invibio Biomaterial Solutions.

    Bond3D, a company with patented technology that enables the production of functional parts from high-performance polymers, has recently made significant progress in maturing its technology to print high-strength PEEK parts – with comparable properties to PEEK components that are injection molded or machined. The company has now partnered with Invibio Biomaterial…

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  • Precision ADM enters partnership with Tecomet. To expand development and production opportunities in the area of additive manufacturing.

    Precision ADM, a leader in additive and subtractive manufacturing for the medical, aerospace, and industrial sectors, has entered into a strategic partnership with Tecomet, a leader in the design, development, and manufacture of orthopedic, robotic-assisted, and minimally invasive surgical products, to expand development and production opportunities in the area of…

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  • Lincotek, a leader in the production of metal medical devices via additive manufacturing, reported it has produced over 800,000 medical devices since the company started working with Additive Manufacturing in 2006. In recent years, the count has topped over 100,000 3D printed parts per year, with best-in-class yield rates, material…

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  • Over the past few decades, there has been a growing focus in the healthcare industry on achieving better patient outcomes. This emphasis is increasing the popularity of personalized medical devices, which are designed to match the anatomy or physiology of each patient. Examples of personalized medical devices are orthopedic implants…

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  • Oxford Performance Materials to assist Orthopedic Help for Ukraine by manufacturing and delivering 3D printed custom implants.

    Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), an industry leader in advanced polymer science, 3D printed orthopedic devices, and coating technologies, is assisting Orthopedic Help for Ukraine (OHFU) – a non-profit addressing the needs of orthopedic and surgery departments of Ukrainian hospitals – by manufacturing and delivering 3D printed custom implants, along with…

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  • Dr. Kuldeep Agarwal a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU), Department of Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology, has partnered with Additive Technologies (AddiTec), a founding partner of Meltio, an additive manufacturing company pioneering the development of affordable metal 3D printing systems, to develop new ways to produce biocompatible bone…

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  • Surgeons in Europe now have access to MyBone, a patient-specific 3D printed bone, to treat patients with severe facial deformations. This 3D printed bone is made of hydroxyapatite, a calcium phosphate that is the main mineral component of natural bone. MyBone is 3D printed with a unique porous structure by…

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  • My3D Personalized Pelvic Reconstruction receives 501(k) clearance. Onkos Surgical's solution includes 3D printed implants, instruments..

    Onkos Surgical, a leading innovator of solutions for musculoskeletal oncology and complex orthopedic procedures, has received 510(k) clearance for its My3D Personalized Pelvic Reconstruction system – the first of its kind solution that includes 3D printed implants, instruments, and models, as well as an advanced planning service to treat deformity,…

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  • Oxford Performance Materials, Inc. (OPM), an industry leader in advanced polymer science and 3D printed orthopedic devices, is partnering with Fuse Medical, Inc. (Fuse) a manufacturer and distributor of innovative medical devices, to develop new, spinal, extremity and sports medicine implant product lines utilizing OPM’s patented OsteoFab PEKK technology. “As…

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  • As we know by now, additive manufacturing technology has been around for a while and is evolving every day, but design is still the key to unlocking the full potential of this technology. Considering this, researchers at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) have published their recent work on the…

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