Norman Noble, a leading contract manufacturer of next-generation medical implants, has now implemented metal additive manufacturing capabilities. AM is seen by the company as a manufacturing solution for new product designs that could otherwise not be produced using standard methods. Additive manufactured, 3D printed parts can now be made from metallic based alloys including: titanium, stainless steel and cobalt chrome. The ability to produce additive-manufactured parts from magnesium and nitinol also is currently under development.
“Given our long history of developing internal laser cutting and laser welding systems, I strongly believe we have the laser experience and expertise that can be leveraged and applied to the metallic laser sintering printing process.”
Chris Noble, vice president and chief operating officer at Norman Noble.
Norman Noble will use the 3D printing technology for a variety of customer needs including shape-setting fixtures for nitinol-based rapid prototypes, prototype-to-production manufacturing for next-gen medical implant designs and the manufacture of aerospace and commercial parts. As engineers conceive new products or designs they can be uncertain of the manufacturing capability, but Norman Noble can produce the conceptual product on our 3D printer, X-ray it on our CT scanner and email our customer a virtual part within minutes after it is printed including full metrology data. Thus the manufacturing capability is designed into the product upfront and the design for manufacturability cycle becomes shortened dramatically. This is a service that no other contract manufacturer can provide.
“We plan to take the current 3D printing capabilities to another level – Noble added – including finer finishes, finer feature detail, and new materials not currently commercially available. Combined with our new CT scanner that instantly provides complete external and internal metrology data of our 3D printed products to our customers, we are going to work hard to provide a service that will surpass our competition.”
To support its Additive 3D printing capabilities, Norman Noble has also purchased a state-of-the-art Computerized Tomography Inspection System that provides complete dimensional analysis of all internal and external part features. In addition, this technology enables the dimensional inspection of very complex geometries that conventional systems are unable to perform.