Ricoh Launches Innovation Studio for Medical 3DP

The Ricoh Point of Care 3D printing medical device manufacturing facility is connected to the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist health system.

Rob Spiegel

June 4, 2024

5 Min Read
3D printed custom medical devices
Ricoh USA Inc.

At a Glance

  • Ricoh’s 3D medical device facility is the first of many that will be connected to a health system.
  • Patient-specific, 3D-printed anatomic models can be used for surgical planning and patient education.
  • The new facility increases communication and feedback between the health care team and Ricoh staff.

One of the long-term goals in medical device production is distributed manufacturing. That’s a fancy term for bringing the device design and production close to the patient. This is where personalized custom devices will best serve patients. A production method well suited to distributed manufacturing is 3D printing.

Ricoh USA, Inc. has taken a major step in the direction of distributed manufacturing with its Point of Care 3D medical device manufacturing facility – the Ricoh 3D for Healthcare Innovation Studio. Through its mission to innovate and improve clinical outcomes and quality of life, the on-site Innovation Studio provides clinicians with easy and immediate access to development, design, and manufacturing services for patient-specific, 3D-printed anatomic models, which can be used for surgical planning and patient education. Located in Innovation Quarter, in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C., it is the first of many Point of Care 3D medical device manufacturing facilities that will be connected to a health system.

In partnership with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Ricoh launched its flagship RICOH for 3D Healthcare Innovation Studio. The new Point of Care 3D medical device manufacturing facility is the first of many that will be connected to a health system and is also a key foundational step in making precision care more accessible to clinicians and patients across the country. More details about the partnership, Innovation Studio, and impact of additive manufacturing on the healthcare industry is below my signature for your reference.

Partnering to Expand 3DP Expertise

This partnership is the latest development in Ricoh’s efforts to expand its 3D-printing expertise through strategic partnerships. This past March at MODEX, the company announced its partnership with NC State to address supply chain challenges through the application of additive manufacturing technology.  

Patient care teams with limited access to 3D-printed anatomic models often see challenges related to workflow disruptions, lead time issues, resources, and regulatory compliance when attempting to acquire patient-specific anatomic models, which can impact the standard of patient care.

The foundational mission of the RICOH 3D for Healthcare Innovation Studio aims to resolve these challenges by leveraging Ricoh’s HIPAA-compliant, ISO 13485-certified 3D medical device manufacturing center and Managed Services pedigree for the development, design, and production of 3D-printed anatomic models. Bringing patient-specific anatomic modeling directly into the hospital using Ricoh's innovative technology ecosystem and quality management system provides clinicians with the availability and confidence of FDA-cleared devices.

Supporting Personalized Patient Care

The on-site center allows for faster production times, in-person access to clinical resources and 3D-printing expertise, as well as multidisciplinary team collaboration across national networks – providing clinicians and patients with a wider team of experts and support for enhanced care. In addition, the Innovation Studio helps to increase communication and feedback between the care team and Ricoh staff, drive innovation for personalized patient care, and focus on collecting data on the benefits of using 3D-printed anatomic models to help drive reimbursement.

“The RICOH 3D for Healthcare Innovation Studio is a foundational step in Ricoh’s long-term vision to lead the way in democratizing access to patient-specific, precision medical solutions in healthcare,” said Gary Turner, Managing Director, Additive Manufacturing, North America, Ricoh USA, Inc. “As we look to integrate and scale Point of Care facilities within health systems nationally, we’re extremely grateful that Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist has partnered with us to make the first facility a reality, and we look forward to growing 3D production within their network and in other hospital systems across the country.”

Ricoh 3D for Healthcare produces patient-specific anatomic models via additive manufacturing, using segmented 3D print files created from medical images in FDA-cleared applications. These models are used for diagnostic purposes in various medical fields, including craniomaxillofacial, orthopedic, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and breast applications.

Distributed Custom Additive Manufacturing

With the ability to manage 3D-print operations at the point of care, the RICOH 3D for Healthcare Innovation Studio gives providers access to a streamlined and efficient solution for producing and obtaining these models. The new facility enables Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and Wake Forest University School of Medicine to create a Medical 3D Printing Center of Excellence, in collaboration with Wake Forest Innovations and Innovation Quarter.

“As a leading academic learning health system, we are committed to leveraging technology that will benefit our patients, our faculty and staff, and our learners,” said Christopher T. Whitlow, MD, PhD, MHA professor and chair of radiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and a neuroradiologist at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. “This partnership will allow our health system and medical school to continue to elevate our clinical, research and education capabilities, and will open up new opportunities to collaborate with other departments across our organization.”

Timely and Informed Health Care Via 3DP

In patient care, access to precision, anatomic 3D models from on-site facilities like the RICOH 3D for Healthcare Innovation Studio allows clinical teams to plan and provide timely and informed care plans. It may also lead to:

  • Reduced operating times – Surgeons using 3D-printed anatomic models saw an average operation time savings of 62 minutes[i] and a 7.8% reduction in operative time[ii].

  • Redefined surgical approaches – 50% of surgeons redefined their surgical approach when a 3D model was used during the planning stage[iii].

  • Lowered costs – When used for diagnostic purposes, providers saw an average cost savings of $3,720 per casei.

  • Educational opportunities – 3D-printed models offer cadaver-free training, clearer communication, and education for patients when discussing informed consent.

  • Enhanced diagnostic support – Having accurate insights into a patient’s anatomy beforehand allows clinicians to better evaluate and understand complex conditions to effectively prepare a more informed approach to procedures and care.

Decreased compliance concerns – With an on-site Point of Care 3D medical device manufacturing facility, regulatory and legal compliance requirements are met due to Ricoh’s award-winning Managed Services platform, 3D-printing expertise and FDA 510(k)-cleared anatomic models.

Read more about:

Supplier News

About the Author(s)

Rob Spiegel

Rob Spiegel serves as a senior editor for Design News. He started with Design News in 2002 as a freelancer and hired on full-time in 2011. He covers automation, manufacturing, 3D printing, robotics, AI, and more.

Prior to Design News, he worked as a senior editor for Electronic News and Ecommerce Business. He has contributed to a wide range of industrial technology publications, including Automation World, Supply Chain Management Review, and Logistics Management. He is the author of six books.

Before covering technology, Rob spent 10 years as publisher and owner of Chile Pepper Magazine, a national consumer food publication.

As well as writing for Design News, Rob also participates in IME shows, webinars, and ebooks.

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like