3D printing technology has been developing rapidly in the field of orthopedic implants in recent years. Due to its ability to customize the shape of the implant according to patient’s needs and accurately control the complex microstructure of the implant, the dual shape and mechanical properties of the implant are fully realized. Titanium alloy is the most common material in the medical industry. So why is titanium alloy widely used in medical industry of 3D Printing?
Characteristics of Implants
Traditional metal processing usually uses material mold casting or material reduction process for implant manufacturing, a single piece or a small number of complex structure products will have high production cost. These processing methods can only process fully dense or fully porous structure, but can not achieve the good cooperation between the porous structure and dense body. For complex bone implants manufacturing, it is difficult to simulate the combination of real cortex and cancellous bone structure, which is unable to realize the bone structure and biomechanics.
The development of 3D printing technology can meet the needs of small parts manufacturing and large-scale production with high precision and high efficiency, and print out a controllable microporous structure, to achieve a perfect reproduction of the real bone tissue. Therefore, the 3D-printed orthopedic implants have the following characteristics:
The 3D printing technology can be customized according to the characteristics of the patient's native bones, creating products that fully match the native bones, thus reducing the impact of the implant on the human body and maximizing the normal function of the human bone.
Low cost, short cycle and high material utilization rate
Traditional processing processes such as casting or reduced manufacturing require customized molds or cutting a large number of raw materials, which cost more for a single piece or a small number of products. 3D printing technology from the design to the manufacture of a product, the production can be completed within 24 hours, which greatly shorten the delivery time. And the printing process is usually carried out under the vacuum or inert gas protection, near-net molding, the material can be recycled.
Characteristics of Titanium Alloy
The main component of titanium alloy is Ti6Al4V, which is widely used in orthopedics due to its good properties.
- After 3D printing, the titanium alloy material elastic modulus is lower than that of ordinary titanium alloy, which is closer to the physiological structure of bone.
- Titanium alloy is biocompatible and is conducive to bone penetration and bone integration, and is suitable for the preparation of orthopedic implants.
- Titanium alloy is not only rigid, but also have outstanding flexibility, with good fatigue resistance, suitable for a joint support, can replace other metal materials.
- Titanium alloy is insoluble in strong acid and strong alkali, and still has a high specific strength at 500℃, and is not toxic to human body, and has good chemical stability, suitable for implantation in human body.
- Titanium alloy has good corrosion resistance, fatigue resistance and stability. Compared with other metal materials, its elastic modulus is closer to bone, which is suitable for application in orthopedics.
Current Application of 3D Printing in Medical Industry
Eplus3D has made some achievements in medical treatment, we have cooperated with MANTIZ to produce large-bulk cage implants, helped patients to correct scoliosis spine, and also helped cats to walk again and so on. It is believed that in the near future, with the continuous optimization and improvement of material technology, information technology and control technology, 3D printing technology will become increasingly perfect and mature, which will bring good news to more patients in the medical field. Welcome to contact Eplus3D for more tailored medical solutions.