Aug 24, 2017 | By David

The 3D printing industry still shows no signs of slowing down, but we’ve got another round-up of the latest developments to keep you up to speed. Recent events include Korean surgeons using 3D printing to reconstruct a patient’s jawbone, EIT getting 22 new patents for its 3D printed spinal implant technology, and more besides.

1. Emerging Implant Technologies gets 22 new patents for its 3D printed spinal cages

German medical device manufacturer Emerging Implant Technologies is continuing to use 3D printing to have a major impact on the industry. EIT just filed 22 new patents for its full portfolio of 3D printed expandable spinal fusion cages. The patents cover the United States, Europe and many other global markets and provide EIT with the opportunity to offer a complete product range of fully 3D printed cages for both vertical and lateral expansion.

According to Guntmar Eisen, CEO of EIT, "This IP is our platform to take fully 3D printed fusion cages to the next level by adding functionality to our EIT cellular titanium cages. This will give the surgeon more options intraoperatively, reduce inventory and support MIS techniques – and at the same time reduce cost of expandable cages."

The technology was developed with the help of spine, orthopaedic and hand surgery expert Dr Morgan Lorio, MD. He believes that "the combination of 3D printed cellular structures with functionality is disruptive game changing technology. It will give me better tools to restore my patients´ spinal balance and enlarge the cage footprints for better endplate coverage while experiencing faster spinal fusion.’’ He added, ‘’I am thrilled that these technologies will be advanced by the German engineering team of EIT."

2. Korean surgeons successfully reconstruct cancer patient’s jawbone using 3D printing technology

Another major medical 3D printing breakthrough was achieved recently in South Korea, as the team at the Samsung Medical Center successfully reconstructed the jawbone of an oral cancer patient using 3D printing technology. Professor Baek Chung-hwan, of the department of otolaryngology at SMC, was able to simultaneously remove cancer-infected bone and reconstruct the jaw using 3D printed bone from the patient’s leg.

This is the third time Baek has successfully carried out this pioneering 3D printed bone reconstruction procedure, following the development of a sinus cancer surgery model in 2013, and a surgery model for a temporal bone necessary for treating otitis media last year. In the past, surgery  was performed using only CT images. However, the 3D printing model and bone cutting guidance allow for an operation where the cutting and reconstruction takes place simultaneously, by first making the fibula into the replacement mandible which is needed.

“Using this model, doctors have an opportunity to learn a surgery that they had known only in theory while benefiting patients in the long run,” Baek said. “We plan to continue developing 3D printing operating models.”

3. Sigma Labs teams up with 3D printing company Digital-CAN Tech to expand Asian sales network

Sigma Labs, Inc is a major provider of quality assurance software for manufacturing processes that use 3D printing technology, under the PrintRite3D brand. Today the company announced a new partnership with Digital – CAN Tech Co. Ltd, in an effort to expand its sales network in Asia.

Digital – CAN is one of Taiwan’s largest industrial 3D printing companies, with experience in a variety of industries such as aerospace, medical, tooling, industrial manufacturing 4.0 applications, architecture, product design, automotive design, & lifestyle applications. The company will now serve as Sigma Lab’s non-exclusive sales agent in Taiwan, receiving a commission tied to revenue.

“We are very pleased to expand our Asian market presence with sales representation from Digital-CAN, a leader in the Additive Manufacturing Industry in Taiwan,” said Ron Fisher, VP of Business Development of Sigma Labs. “Taiwan is among a growing array of countries that have embraced AM across Asia and we believe that Digital-CAN is the right agent in that region to help fulfill our expansive vision. We look forward to working with them to drive the value of Sigma Labs’ solutions capabilities into their diverse markets and industry channels.”

4. Singapore Manufacturing Innovation Center established to encourage development of 3D printing and other technologies

International Enterprise Singapore has launched the Singapore Manufacturing Innovation Center (SMIC) in Guangzhou. The center is intended to facilitate partnerships between Singapore and China in Industry 4.0 technologies, such as 3D printing technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).

SMIC is a first-of-its-kind platform to promote collaboration and co-creation of innovative technology solutions among Singapore companies and Chinese enterprises. The ‘Made In China 2025’ initiative launched by the Chinese government in order to upgrade its manufacturing sector is increasing demand for disruptive, Industry 4.0 technologies, and many Singaporean businesses stand to benefit from this. Five major Singapore technology players with complementary capabilities will be brought in anchor the SMIC. They are Akribis Systems, motion control solutions specialist; Barghest Building Performance, energy efficiency technology provider focusing on intelligent building space; K-One, innovation solutions provider focusing on Sustainability, Environmental-friendly and Value-added solutions; Plant Werx, industrial information technology provider; and SESTO Robotics, autonomous technology specialist delivering automated guided vehicle solutions.

Mr. Lee Ark Boon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IE Singapore said, “Singapore has a strong knowledge-intensive manufacturing sector, which accounts for 20% of our GDP. Because of this, our local technology solutions providers have gained relevant expertise and track record in transforming the traditional manufacturing sector. These companies can partner and co-create solutions with Chinese manufacturers as they move up the value chain. The SMIC serves as a one-stop shop for Singapore and Guangdong enterprises to collaborate on I4.0 solutions, and scale up in other parts of China.”

The SMIC launch in Guangzhou by IE Singapore is an example of the Singapore Government’s continued efforts to help Singapore companies to innovate beyond national borders. In July, IE Singapore IE Singapore announced the launch of its Plug and Play Network to provide support in business advisory services, business matching and market set-up via co-working spaces in over 45 major cities in 6 key markets across India, China and Southeast Asia.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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