Why it is so important to use additively manufactured medical implants

Medical implants manufactured through additive manufacturing provide advantages before, during, and after surgery. While it is the patient who greatly benefits, from a holistic perspective, so does the whole healthcare system.

Intrinsic advantages of Additive Manufacturing for medical implants:

+ Fast production by direct build-up from a digital data model without any tooling requirements
+ Freedom of design allows for an accurately-fitting reconstruction of complex, organic structures
+ Ideal osteoconductive bone substitute in combination with process-related roughness and microstructuring
+ Optimum stability and fracture strength of the implant itself and its ingrowth ability

The use of AM for implantology has numerous beneficial effects...

... before surgery ... during surgery ... after surgery
  • Patient-friendly treatment
  • Shorter bed times (occupancy) when waiting for the implant to be produced
  • No additional surgery for autologous bone transplantation necessary
  • Minimized complication risk, e.g. reduced risk of atrophy and deterioration of general condition

  • Significant reduction of average surgery length due to the good fitting accuracy
  • Improved capacity planning due to significant reduction of operating room occupancy
  • Reduced complication risk
  • High success rate
  • Ease of work for operating team

  • Good osseointegration for quick and stable bone ingrowth
  • Low risk of rejection reaction, infection...
  • Good mechanical supporting and protecting function
  • Faster rehabilitation
  • Natural-looking recovery of original physical appearance
  • Improvement of the quality of life of the patient

In short, it's all about the potential to dramatically save costs and to offer significant benefits to all parties involved including the designers of medical products, MAHs, hospitals, health insurance providers, health workers and surgeons etc., as well as improved outcomes for patients.

From the economic as well as the medical perspective, a strong argument for the use of implants from AM is their fast, global availability, and as a result, major cost savings.

Benefits of additively manufactured implants for the public health system:

+ Significant reduction in hospital bed occupancy
+ Significant reduction in surgery time
+ Lower complication rate
+ Faster rehabilitation
+ Lower total cost of medical care

Case Study: Customized implant

The following example of an implant for cranioplasty shows the clear advantages of additive technologies for customized implants. Read more about the project in our info sheet (PDF).

Benchmarking data:

Type of implant:
accurately-fitting customized implant made of titanium (EBM technology)

123 mm x 56 mm x 90 mm (x-axis / y-axis / z-axis)

Delivery time:
within 4 days after ct scan

The requirements of all involved parties have been met to their utmost satisfaction. As an immediate consequence, this project generated additional orders at the same hospital.

Do you have any questions? For a non-binding quote, please click here. We look forward to assisting you in any possible way.

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