On February 4th & 5th, Jakajima organized the 8th edition of its 3D Medical Printing Conference. The first day offered parallel sessions on 3D Dental Printing and 3D Bioprinting whereas the second day focused on 3D printing pharmaceuticals and 3D medtech printing. Participants to the conference on Day 2 also benefited from an extensive plenary session focused on 3D printing in (Non) Academic Hospitals.
The conference gathered around 150 participants during the two days. Pieter Hermans from Jakajima and I (Kety SINDZE) ensured the moderation of the sessions on the first day of the conference, whereas on the second day, he was accompanied by Alessandro Ricci from 3Dific in this exercise.
First, it is interesting to note that unlike other conferences/events organized in the country, this conference was not a Dutch-dedicated event. It actually gathered both international and national speakers as well as a diverse audience that belongs both to the medical and 3D Printing industries.
However, in order to report on the key takeaways that professionals learned from this conference, the following lines will be focused on the main highlights of the 3D Dental Printing Session.
7 professionals with various profiles shared their experiences and the main experiences that are currently shaping the 3D Dental Printing world.
Application of 3D printed patient specific implant in oral and maxillofacial surgery
Based on real patient-cases, Dr. Yi Sun, Head of 3D surgical planning Lab – Oral and maxillofacial surgery at UZ Leuven (in Belgium), demonstrated that the use of 3D Printing for implants in oral and maxillofacial surgery is already a reality in Belgium.
The presentation of the specialist depicted how the fields of dentistry and maxillofacial surgery can take advantage of 3D printing in specific areas such as orthognathic surgery, maxillofacial reconstruction and more.
In addition to the clinical applications of 3D Printed titanium implants, the audience learned more about the design workflow and the clinical and engineering challenges faced by the team.
If each case is unique, Dr. Sun reported that most of the times, given the scope of some projects, most of the researches are carried out on animals to use 3D printed scaffold for bone regeneration.
However, despite the endless possibilities 3D Printing can offer, one big challenge for both the patients and the professional team remain the financial insurance, quality control regarding to medical regulations and how to improve the efficiency of the workflow to design patient specific implant. Thus, we should bring together clinicians, engineers and scientists in all aspects to deliver better healthcare service to our patients.
Orthodontics in the digital world: a 3D approach combining LMF and DLP technology
Emanuele Paoletto & Luca Carnevali discussed the impact of 3D technologies in orthodontics.
Emanuele Paoletto is Orthomodul Lab Manager and Luca Carnevali is Dental / Medical Sales Area Manager at Sisma. Their presentation highlighted the MAPA Protocol, a protocol developed by Maino B. Giuliano, Mura Paola and Emanuele Paoletto, that enables a patient to be treated in one single surgery while leveraging 3D technologies.
While taking the example of a skeletal anchorage, Paoletto explained that throughout the 3D Workflow, a scanning of the patient enables the medical team to plan the surgical strategy and the mini-screw placement. The surgical guides and the metal framework are thereafter designed before being printed on Sisma’s 3D Printing technology (a DLP printer for models and guides, or an LMF Printer for metal frameworks). Only after the printing process, the medical team can proceed with the surgery.
Emanuele Paoletto and his team have been acknowledged by various scientific publications around the world. Today, they are ready to collaborate with medical teams that would be interested in leveraging this protocol.
Multi-material 3D Inkjet for 3D Dental Printing
René van der Meer, CTO & co-founder of Lake3D believes in the potential of Multi-material 3D Inkjet for dental applications.
Most multi-material 3D Printers available on the market are utilized for rapid prototyping applications. According to van der Meer, Lake3D aims to change the game by developing a device that will improve key aspects of the production such as time and ready-to-use printed parts.
Furthermore, the project requires the contribution of four companies: NextDent, a company of 3D Systems that specializes in dental applications, Brightlands Materials Center for its expertise in 3D printing materials; TNO, a research organization that brings its experience in SLA technology and Océ. Known for its 2D Printing expertise, Océ will bring the print heads required for the Inkjet technology of the 3D printer.
Together with his team, van der Meer proved the potential of Multi Material 3D inkjet for dental during an EFRO/STIMULUS funded project. His presentation does not only show they are up to something meaningful, it also shows that their solution might deliver solutions that might go beyond the medical field.
Turning your upperjaw into a mouthguard
Entering the 3D printing market by the sports industry is certainly the best way to avoid the regulatory constraints that the technology raised in the medical industry.
This was the gamble taken by Arno Hermans, founder of 3D Mouthguard, a company that improves the way athletes enjoy their favorite sport by using cutting edge technology to produce sports apparel.
According to a report from QYResearch Group, in 2018, the global mouthguard market size was 174.9 M USD, and it will be 278.6 M USD in 2025, with a CAGR of 6.9% between 2018 and 2025.
Given the key role that a mouthguard plays in various sport disciplines such as hockey and rugby, Hermans seizes the opportunity to develop a custom-made product for each athlete that will protect their mouth during a competition.
According to Hermans, the current mouthguards available on the market are not always comfortable, hygienic, safety and sustainable. Together with his team, they develop a custom-made product for each athlete that does not require weeks of production but just a day after they receive an order. In addition to the multiple stages of manufacturing that have been removed, another key advantage the engineer highlighted is the fact that it is no longer necessary to stop by the dentist.
To test the capabilities of this product, the company carried out several tests including a saliva study and an impact study.
As part of the saliva study, artificial saliva (regular saliva and saliva combined with sport drinks) has been put for 1176 hours in a row in the material used for the product. Hermans explained that the results show there is no effect on the mechanical conditions of the material Arnitel® ID2045, a 3D Printing material developed by DSM Additive Manufacturing.
As far as bacteria is concerned, “bacteria stick to the material so it’s very important to clean the mouthguard on a regular basis”, explained Hermans. The same observation is made with traditional mouthguards.
“Another result is that the 3D printed mouthguard is dishwasher proof. This means the mouthguard can handle high temperatures without losing the strength of the mouthguard. However, you have to be careful with certain food such as tomatoes in the dishwasher, that have an effect on the color of the mouthguard”, said the founder.
The impact study on the other hand aims to research the best way to measure realistic impact. In this specific case, the swing happens to be the best method for the company. Based on different speeds and bounce, the team has been able to measure energy consumption and power distribution. This study is still in progress as the next stage consists in analyzing the reaction of materials.
Lastly, the mouthguard is produced using FDM 3D Printing technology. The company is currently exploring other manufacturing technologies to diversify its production workflow.
3D Mouthguard aims to develop a safe product for sports people. The company still has a long road ahead but one thing is certain, they are on the right path.
Numerical Simulation in Additive Manufacturing
Mathieu Perennou, Director of Sales & Business Development EMEA region at Simufact Engineering GmbH introduced the main use of AM simulation in various applications. If most examples shown demonstrated a key potential of numerical simulation for automotive and aerospace applications, the principles of simulation remain the same for medical applications: identifying in advance manufacturing issues and establish countermeasures before the printing process.
Nevertheless, the requirements for leveraging AM Simulation in medical applications remain quite different compared to industrial applications. Although the differences were not presented, it should be noted that simulation can be used at different stages of the AM value chain. Such simulation stages are sometimes very data-intensive and high-performance computing (HPC) facilities may be required. Therefore, the use of simulation requires in-depth expertise in computational mechanics to adapt accordingly.
Nanofiber technologies for improving the biological compatibility of metal implants
In the end, Marek Pokorny a Senior researcher from Contipro, a producer of hyaluronic acid for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries reported on how nanofiber technologies can improve the biological compatibility of metal implants.
He raised attention on the importance of surface treatment of 3D implants intended for pharmacy. “A surface layer of a metal implant affects its acceptance by the human body”, explained Pokorny. In the presentation of the whole process, he showed how the surface treatment can improve metal implant properties such as its biocompatibility, enhance a cell adhesion and proliferation, reduce inflammatory responses, and facilitate integration between the implant and surrounding tissues.
Such improvement is due to the continuous adjustment of the spinning process to achieve uniformity and quality of the surface layer; more importantly to achieve desired geometries and mechanical measurements while evaluating the results of preclinical tests.
“From the results achieved, the use of such coatings is very promising for practical use in orthopedic surgeries”, concluded Pokorny.
Gabi Janssen, Business Development Manager Healthcare at DSM Additive Manufacturing shared the company’s view on regulations in medical applications. However, she was not able to make a comment on time as part of the publication of this article.
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