• Original material: Arburg Plastic Freeforming of medically approved plastic granulates
• Application example: Additive manufacture of absorbable bone implants
• Suitable for clean rooms: Freeformer with stainless steel build chamber
Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) with the Freeformer is predestined to highly demanding applications in medical technology. The process works from the same plastic granulates that are used in injection moulding. This makes the open system very economical to use. The Freeformer can also process biocompatible, absorbable, sterilisable, and FDA-approved original materials into functional components as well as be used in clean rooms.
During Formnext Connect 2020, the processing of our partner Evonik's absorbable materials for implants will be presented as an example.
The processing of Resomer LR 706 (composite of poly L-lactide-co-D,L-lactide and ß-TCP) is an impressive example of the use of the Freeformer. Samaplast can use it to manufacture implants that are inserted directly into the body after bone fractures. Evonik's polymer composite contains 30 percent ceramic additives. As a result, the component is more stable and also releases calcium to promote bone formation. After a given time, the implant then dissolves completely.
In addition, another innovative absorbable material from Evonik was recently processed with the Freeformer: A polymer from the Resomer C family, which can be used in the soft tissue area.
Patient-specific sawing templates
The high-temperature plastic Ultem 1004, on the other hand, is ideal for medical technology due to its versatile sterilisation possibilities and biocompatibility (ISO 10993, USP Class VI). As an example, this material can be used to additively manufacture patient-specific sawing templates, which are then used as fixing aids during knee surgeries. Other materials for medical technology applications are currently in the trial phase.
Freeformers are suitable for clean room use
With a few small adjustments, all Freeformers are suitable for use in clean rooms, as customers have already proved. They are low in emissions and create no dust, and their build chamber is generally made out of stainless steel. An optional robot interface enables the additive production process to be automated and the Freeformer to be integrated into production lines connected via an IT network. The process quality can be reliably documented and the components clearly tracked, where necessary.