How 3D Printing Revolutionizes Medical Manufacturing
- | Medical Devices in under 24 Hours
- | Cut costs by up to 90% compared to machining
- | Biocompatible ISO 10993 & USP Class VI Compliant Materials
3D printing has a developed a proven track record in the medical manufacturing industry enabling low-volume production of end-use medical devices and functional prototypes alike.
Industrial 3D printing technology has changed the way the healthcare industry manufactures products. From surgical instruments, ventilators, implants and patient specific medical devices that save lives, 3D printing has made its mark. Medical devices produced by high performance medical grade 3D printed resins and polymers complies with ISO 10993 and USP Class VI biocompatibility and are compatible with common sterilization methods. Personalized medical equipment such as orthotics, orthosis & prosthetics can now be made lighter, be more comfortable to wear and be built faster. Supply shortages can be alleviated using 3D printing, with ventilators and PPE being two recent examples of how the versatility of 3D printing has been used to get critical medical equipment delivered on short notice to hospitals that require them.
Biocompatible Medical Devices
Forge Labs specializes in medical-grade thermoplastics and resins, which are ideal for creating functional surgical instruments, ventilators, prosthetics, microfluidic devices, and handheld tools. These materials are robust and versatile, suitable for both prototypes and final products, and can be easily sterilized for repeated use. We ensure full traceability of our medical-grade materials and provide biocompatibility certificates, along with custom inspection reports, for every order.
Custom Orthotics, Orthosis & Prothesis
3D printing enables practitioners to produce parts with adjustable zones and torsional stiffness, offering unparalleled customization. Our approach facilitates the rapid creation of orthotics, prosthetics, and orthoses that are notably lighter, more robust, and slimmer than their traditionally made counterparts. By leveraging the design versatility of 3D printing, we incorporate distinctive lattice designs that optimize device weight and enhance wearer comfort.
Canadian Medical Manufacturing
Localized Canadian manufacturing allows healthcare professionals to minimize shipping expenses and associated risks. It eliminates the need for long-distance transportation, reducing the chances of damage or delays during transit and ensuring that critical medical components reach their destination promptly. This is crucial in healthcare, where timely access to prototypes, custom medical devices, or replacement parts can directly impact patient care and outcomes.
Our Digital Manufacturing Process
Forge Labs' instant quoting platform strengthens your supply chain by providing custom parts tailored to your needs—whether for prototyping, R&D, validation, or full-scale production. Leverage our advanced capabilities and virtually limitless capacity to accelerate your timelines and consistently meet innovation deadlines. Digitally manufacture medical devices that are stronger, lighter, and patient-specific.
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Custom ISO 10993 and USP Class VI Medical Devices
Ventilators, swabs, and other high-resolution medical devices are also commonly manufactured using Accura ClearVue through Stereolithography, which is a high-clarity, polycarbonate-like plastic for applications requiring long-term skin or mucosal membrane contact. This material offers excellent resistance to humidity and moisture and is capable of meeting USP Class VI biocompatibility standards. It is also compatible with common sterilization methods. Typical applications for this material include components for ventilators, as well as inhalers and injectors.
Additive manufacturing allows medical practitioners the ability to easily create custom, high-performance medical devices using materials like Nylon 12, applied through technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering. This material is excellent for end-use medical devices due to its durability and biocompatibility, meeting EN ISO 10993-1 and USP Class VI standards at 121°C. Ideal for functional braces, orthotics, prosthetics, and surgical guides, Nylon 12's resilience and sterilization tolerance make it a staple in personalized medical manufacturing.
3D printing enables the rapid fabrication of various dental solutions—such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and orthodontic devices—with exceptional precision and customization. Dental professionals can now directly manufacture devices that fit patients precisely, improving comfort and aesthetics. This technology not only streamlines the production process but also minimizes material waste compared to traditional fabrication methods. 3D-printed dental solutions provide patients with a higher level of personalization, faster turnaround times, and overall enhanced dental care.
Rapidly produces patient-specific surgical guides made from 3D printed biocompatible materials. These guides serve as templates during surgery, precisely indicating where incisions should be made and the optimal angles for surgical instruments. Surgeons can navigate complex anatomical structures more confidently and with greater accuracy, reducing the risk of complications, minimizing tissue damage, and often shortening surgery times. Surgical guides are particularly valuable in procedures such as orthopedic joint replacements, dental implant placements, and spinal surgeries, where precise positioning and alignment are critical for successful outcomes. This application not only improves patient safety but also contributes to quicker post-operative recoveries and enhanced overall healthcare quality.
Case Studies in Healthcare
Health in Space
3D printing bone scans showing the effects of low gravity on bone density for Health in Space: Daring to Explore, a long term exhibit at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.
The Impact of 3D Printing on the Medical Device Industry
3D printing has disrupted the medical device industry by enabling new possibilities for innovation, customization and efficiency. In this article, we will explore how 3D printing has transformed the medical device industry in four key areas: customization of medical devices, rapid prototyping, reduction of costs and creation of biocompatible materials.
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