Chemical company Henkel has announced a collaboration with NewPro3D, a Vancouver-based polymer 3D printing company. The companies will leverage their respective areas of expertise to jointly develop cutting-edge 3D printing solutions for the medical industry for applications in anatomical modeling and prosthetics, among others.
NewPro3D, a specialist in ultra-fast digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing, recently became a member of Henkel’s Open Materials Platform with the aim of reaching production-scale AM. Now the partners are turning their focus to the medical sector, which can benefit from patient-specific 3D printed anatomical models, custom prosthetics and other 3D printed devices.
“We’re excited to work with NewPro3D to develop applications which can have a life-altering impact for so many people,” explained Sean Dsvila, Head of 3D Printing Materials at Henkel. “Our goal with additive manufacturing is to drive production at scale. While that’s a potential game-changer in all the markets we serve, perhaps nowhere is it more important than in the medical industry, where lives are literally at stake. It’s very gratifying for our team to play a small role in improving the outcome for those in need.”
The partners will combine Henkel’s broad range of 3D printing resins with NewPro3D’s Intelligent Liquid Interface (ILI), a DLP-based process that relies on a transparent wettable membrane for faster movement between cured layers. The combination of ILI and Henkel’s resins reportedly unlocks ultra-fast manufacturing for medical devices, such as hard and soft anatomical models.
Henkel and NewPro3D will be showcasing the early fruits of their collaboration next month at MD&M West Conference in Anaheim, CA. There, visitors will be able to see first-hand a 3D printed anatomical model based on an infant’s skull, which helped surgeons prepare to operate on a young child with a misaligned anterior mandible.
The 3D printed model enabled the surgical team to measure the defective position and identify where a device could be anchored to lengthen the mandible. Ultimately, it allowed them to develop a treatment plan that consisted of the construction of an osteodistraction device that was placed in the mandible. The device was equipped with external screws, which were rotated daily based on a prescribed plan.
“3D models help surgeons and proceduralists get better context and therefore improve their planning and performance,” said NewPro3D’s Chief Operating Officer, Gabriel Castanon. “3D printing should be looked at as a way to reduce risk and improve outcomes.”