Across the medical device sector there are many innovative applications of 3D printing that are benefitting manufacturers, healthcare professionals and patients. From rapid medical device validation to printing, we’ve collected some case studies of how additive manufacturing has enabled medical device developments while improving production times and reducing costs. The first example leverages the use of a state-of-the-art digital tool for materials development called Albert, who happens to share the same name as a well-known physicist!

GRATZ Engineering GmbH is just one of many examples that has firmly integrated 3D printing in various forms into its business model. Not using the technology today is no longer an option for the engineering expert. That's because the advantages in terms of delivery times, cost-effectiveness and increased performance through geometric freedom are simply too significant. "The good thing is that as a medium-sized company, you don't have to rely on investing in your own printing system right away.

Evonik launches material campaign for 3D printing (©Evonik, research hub in Singapore).

In addition to a well-thought-out digitisation strategy, the right IT infrastructure is of paramount importance. More and more companies are therefore turning to software-as-a-service in the cloud. Instead of purchasing software solutions in a complete package with fixed licences, customised packages via the cloud offer multiple advantages: flexible, scalable and with external IT specialists available at all times in the background.

One by one, advancements in technology are stripping away barriers to the widespread adoption of additive manufacturing technology at scale. Today’s 3D printers are faster, more reliable, offer larger build areas, support a wider range of materials and are getting more affordable. As such, the number of manufacturers using 3D printers for limited or full-scale production part runs (as well as the number of 3D printer manufacturers) is growing exponentially every year. Multiple surveys document the enthusiasm decision makers have for additive manufacturing at scale, but an obstacle still holds back many companies from committing: fear of vendor lock-in.

TÜV SÜD, commissioned by the LEHVOSS Group and Ultimaker, has certified the 3D printing process in the combination of LUVOCOM® 3F filament and Ultimaker printer. This includes the material properties, the test specimen production - including the dimensional tolerances, the production of the filament and the printing process. Furthermore, emissions during the printing process were measured.

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