Dental & Medical
Tailor-made manufacturing is crucial in all medical applications, such as prostheses and surgical instruments.
Metal additive manufacturing has become a popular option in the dental industry, thanks to the direct printing of crowns and bridges. Being able to produce parts directly from metal powders enables lead times significantly shorter than investment casting. The ability to produce hundreds of custom parts in a single cycle makes the SLM technology ideal for the production of unique individual parts rather than high volume production.
Customisation is crucial to medical implants. Each person’s anatomy is different, and in surgical settings, time is of the essence. 3D Printing is leveraged to drastically improve healthcare outcomes in cases involving implants, for example, the production of trabecular titanium prosthesis.
Virtually any prosthesis can be printed to exactly fit a patient’s anatomy and can be made to include surface characteristics like porosity to promote bone growth and improve patient recovery. Trabecular Titanium is a biomaterial characterised by a regular, three-dimensional, hexagonal cell structure that imitates trabecular bone morphology. High porosity and adequate pore size enhance cell migration and vascularisation, facilitating the transport of oxygen, nutrients and ions favouring bone formation. Metal additive manufacturing is even applied for bone cancer surgery in which an implant is 3D printed just as the cancerous bone is being removed: in this case, speed of production is a game-changer, a situation that would normally require two operations can be condensed into one.