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Engineering Materials
Slideshow: Design & 3D Print Custom Metal Implants
12/9/2013

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Finger implants can be made out of cobalt chrome or titanium using EOS direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) 3D printers. Using free Within Medical software, these implants can be designed to allow varying levels of porosity, which encourage bone ingrowth into the implant's structure.   (Source: Within Technologies)
Finger implants can be made out of cobalt chrome or titanium using EOS direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) 3D printers. Using free Within Medical software, these implants can be designed to allow varying levels of porosity, which encourage bone ingrowth into the implant's structure.
(Source: Within Technologies)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Custom Designs
Ann R. Thryft   1/2/2014 12:46:37 PM
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You're right about the expertise, Greg--this service is definitely for medical pros.

Greg M. Jung
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Custom Designs
Greg M. Jung   12/25/2013 9:12:22 PM
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A design service should be a big win for everyone.  In addition to avoiding the large, upfront equipment investments, smaller firms will also have immediate access to skilled technicians and advanced 3D printing design techniques (so they don't have to spend a lot of time going up the learning curve).  I'm thinking that some unique expertise is needed to create these customized porous structures and a design service could certainly offer immediate help and advice on how to do this.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Will we see more of this?
Elizabeth M   12/12/2013 11:21:13 AM
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Yes, I guess I failed to mention that other key point to this story. It's really great that there are opportunities like this beginning to emerge to promote 3D printing for the masses.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Will we see more of this?
Ann R. Thryft   12/11/2013 12:02:14 PM
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Thanks, Liz. Not having to buy a machine that costs $100K and up definitely makes this technology accessible. The software is also one of the major differences, but so is the partnership with the contract manufacturers that allows users to use the printer without charge.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Will we see more of this?
Elizabeth M   12/11/2013 5:29:28 AM
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This is really cool, Ann, and you're right, it makes this incredible technology more accessible even to the smaller guys. Some of the work being done to 3D print implants and other types of medical devices is one of the most interesting areas of design and development, and shows real promise to help people who otherwise might not be able to afford this type of implant or even prosthetic. It's great to see this kind of software available.

Ann R. Thryft
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Will we see more of this?
Ann R. Thryft   12/9/2013 4:00:31 PM
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I think what most attracted me to this story was how this service solves a problem we've often discussed on the DN site, at least for those designing metal medical implants: the high-end metal printers such as EOS' cost several hundred thousand dollars and are therefore out of reach for independent engineers and small design firms. That's aside from the superior software  built especially for this vertical application. So I wonder if this type of partnership among software vendors, 3D printer makers, and highly specialized contract manufacturers will happen some more, in other application areas. acted me to this story was how this service solves a problem we've often discussed on the DN site, at least for those designing metal medical implants: the high-end metal printers such as EOS' cost several hundred thousand dollars and are therefore out of reach for independent engineers and small design firms. That's aside from the superior software  built especially for this vertical application. So I wonder if this type of partnership among software vendors, 3D printer makers, and highly specialized contract manufacturers will happen some more, in other application areas.

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