Mar 13, 2018 | By Tess

FabRx, a biotech company based in London, is using additive manufacturing to develop 3D printed medicine tablets called “Printlets.” The company is relying on selective laser sintering technology developed by Swiss additive company Sintratec.

Selective laser sintering, more commonly known as SLS, is a 3D printing technique that relies on a laser system to sinter a bed of powder material—most often a polymer-based material such as nylon.

FabRx has reportedly invested in a second Sintratec Kit SLS 3D printer, a machine well suited for producing functional prototypes thanks to its high resolution and freeform build capacity. The 3D printer launched in 2014 with a very successful crowdfunding campaign (Sintratec raised over $200K to bring its SLS 3D printer to market).

In its pursuit to develop 3D printed medicine, FabRx has found use for the Sintratec Kit 3D printers. As the printer model uses powder based materials, the biotech company has been able to introduce drug compounds to powders which are then 3D printed into a range of shapes, sizes, colors, and even textures.

“The Sintratec Kit allows us a whole new approach to the development of new medicines,” said FabRx’s Fabrizio Fina. “Following the surprising results, we bought another Sintratec Kit recently!”

The company says the SLS 3D printer is well suited for tablet printing applications because it enables the user to finely adjust and monitor settings such as laser speed and material temperature. When working with fragile drug compounds, maintaining certain temperatures can be critical to ensuring the quality and effectiveness of the drug.

The 3D printed “Printlets” that FabRx is developing with its two Sintratec Kit 3D printers are just one of the company’s AM-related biotech projects. This past December, the company caught our attention for transforming a Magic Candy Factory candy 3D printer into a personalized medicine maker for children.

The 3D printer, typically used for making edible gummy candies, was repurposed to 3D print medicated gummy candies. (As a kid who hated even the most flavored liquid medicine, I think a gummy candy drug would have been much more palatable to cure any ailments.)

FabRx used a Magic Candy Factory 3D printer to produce customized medicine for children

Founded as a spin-out from a University College London research group, FabRx’s ultimate goal is to develop medicines and treatments that are more enjoyable and more enticing for certain people, such as children.

“We want to use 3D printing to change the face of medicines manufacture and provide better access to medicines, especially for children,” said Alvaro Goyanes, development director at FabRx.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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