How VSHAPER 3D printers can revolutionize the development of medicine?Joanna Chudzik
Medicine dynamically develops using modern VSHAPER 3D MED printers. Explore 3D applications in the medical industry.
The precision of printouts for medical applications is guaranteed by VSHAPER 3D printers – specifically designed for one of the most demanding industry. Innovative 3D printing technologies are already present in the hospital, operating rooms and rehabilitation centers. Effective clinical assistance is increasingly dependent on personalized tools with proper properties, therefore, it is essential for producer of professional industrial printers to contribute significantly to the overall development of medicine.
Medical industry, from scientific research to the use of 3D prints in practical medical applications, opens up to the possibilities offered by additive manufacturing.
The increasing use of 3D printing in medical applications
The medical industry successfully takes advantage of additive technologies in a variety of ways. VSHAPER responds to the challenging needs of medicine by providing 3D printing solutions dedicated to medical applications and actively participating in projects supporting the medical sector.
Manufacturers aiming at effective development of their industrial plants have occasion to update their knowledge of modern additive technologies, as well as reflect on the potential of 3D printing in medicine. It is no longer just a developing technology, appreciated only by hobbyists and applicable mainly in areas having nothing to do with large-scale manufacturing. With the development of applications in many branches, business owners are observing 3D technology as a viable option in the production workflow. All the more reason that research institutions and representatives of the world of science are constantly testing the possibilities offered by 3D printing, setting new directions of progress, as the research area is tremendous. Additive manufacturing is coming with the 4.0 industrial revolution as a machinery ready to be implemented to complete the modernization of production lines. It is worth noting that 3D printing technology is also used to conduct scientific research for medical purposes.
How can the 3D industry cooperate with the healthcare sector?
Gradual broader and more professional use of the possibilities of 3D printing in medicine depends on the design and technical specifications of the printer itself and the software controlling the printing operation. It is also crucial what kind of materials a given printer allows to process. VSHAPER helps the medical industry to develop in the implementation of innovative projects based on its own experience, qualified staff and technological facilities. The cooperation of the 3D printing industry with the medical sector covers many fields, including the production of prototypes, elements that are complex in terms of geometry to map the anatomy of the human body, which are then used in laboratory simulations and tests, as well as printing tools and medical devices with properties that meet quality, performance and safety standards.
Images of samples from VSHAPER from the 3D MED series
analyzed on a measuring microscope
VSHAPER teams up with medical and research sector
What matters for medics, when it comes to professional 3D printers? Certainly there are materials from which printouts are made and the focus on continuous improvement of additive technology in terms of the specific requirements of the medical industry. All these factors determine the grow of the popularity of additive manufacturing in medicine. Fortunately, the medical world finally sees the potential of 3D printing on a larger scale. 3D printing is progressively becoming more preferably solution to create advanced medical instrumentation or body implants. VSHAPER, being aware of specific needs of the industry, develops specialized medical 3D printers adapted to the processing of materials that prove themselves well in medical applications.
VSHAPER, having industrial 3D MED printers, participates in innovative research projects conducted by teams of professionals at universities, aimed at developing the potential of 3D printing in order to ultimately improve the quality of medical services. This time VSHAPER machines were used by the scientific community from the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin for microbiological research. The 270 MED printer allowed for precise printing of measuring plates on which the multiplication of bacterial strains takes place. These plates had to be made of a material that would allow the cells to proliferate. They need to be resistant enough to subject them to chemical and physical processes. Biocompatible PEEK (Polyether-ether-ketone) and PEKK (Polyether-ketone-ketone) have a unique profile of mechanical properties, therefore they meet the criteria for conducting such research.
What is medical 3D printing?
Any approved parts for medical use must meet the relevant validation guidelines for additive manufacturing of medical instrumentation. What distinguishes medical 3D printers is their special design. Prints with thermoplastic PEEK or PEKK are possible on industrial machines such as 270 MED used for biotechnology research.
The crystallization process of PEEK and PEKK must be controlled, so you will need a 3D printer with an extruder, a heated chamber and a build plate that can maintain high temperature levels. Many of the printouts produced for medical purposes are relatively small in size, with a very high degree of specialization, therefore 3D MED printers must have enclosed, heated working chamber with UV light, ensuring a constant air temperature around the model. Finally, it is noteworthy to mention the built-in HEPA filter that prevents vapors and ultra-fine particles from escaping outside the working chamber.
More about PEEK
What are the results of 3D printing with PEEK regarding proliferation?
The goal of the project carried out with the 270 MED was to perform a series of tests to examine the level of integration of the multiplied bacterial strains with PEEK material, as well as to subject PEEK to strength and physico-chemical tests. The main mission was to check the possibilities offered by additive methods that use technically advanced biocompatible Additive Manufacturing materials.
Thanks to the cooperation of VSHAPER with Ph.D.Eng. Marcin Królikowski from Department of Manufacturing Engineering from the West Pomeranian University of Technology 200 samples of PEEK and PEKK materials were produced for the Pomeranian Medical University. These samples were tested in the raw state in order to determine their geometric structure of the surface.
After the preparation and sterilization process, the samples are successively tested in in terms of biocompatibility and bioimmobilization. The results of this research will soon be published in international journals in the field of medicine and bioengineering.
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