Additive manufacturing has caught on in hospitals and in surgery.
Erfurt, April 2014: On 14 and 15 May 2014, the doors of Rapid.Tech will open in Erfurt for the 11th time. Whether newcomers or experts, researchers or users – the programme of the 5th “Medical technology” specialist forum enables participants from this field to get a comprehensive overview of the latest developments and applications as well as to have an especially deep exchange of information and knowledge. The two-day specialist forum is also characterised by its tight meshing of lectures and practical exhibition.
Additive manufacturing – a crossover technology that is developing rapidly and enabling great advances in medical technology in particular. “New opportunities arise from the development of innovative biomaterials, such as those used for the manufacturing of implants.
Additive manufacturing processes have become established in medical technology and the transfer from the research laboratory into the operating theatre has taken place”, said Ralf Schumacher, Head of the Laboratory of Medical Additive Manufacturing at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of North-West Switzerland and responsible for the “Medical technology” specialist forum, briefly summarising the development of AM in this field.
The two-day specialist forum with twelve simultaneously interpreted (German <> English) presentations by high-quality presenters from research, hospitals and industry explores, for example, trends in tissue processing under the keyword “biomanufacturing”. One topic is the manufacture and modification of the active ingredients of ceramic implants using 3D powder printing. The issue in question is the suitability of bioceramics made from calcium phosphates, which are developed as a bone replacement material for the manufacture of patient-specific implants due to their similarity to the mineral phase of bones. Another topic is how, through the modification of these structures using active ingredients such as antibiotics or the addition of beneficial additives, a local and thereby optimal application is enabled in the tissue to be treated.
Procedures will also be presented for the post-processing of 3D-printed, ceramic bone replacement structures as well as for the laser micro melting of platinum-iridium alloys, which has been successfully used to produce connected layers that are reproducible, homogeneous and completely firmly bonded with the substrate material.
The presentations on the second day will mainly cover the practical applications of additive manufacturing in hospitals. This includes, among other things, the advantages and disadvantages of computer-aided, orthopaedic operations with patient-specific aims and the generation of training models for operative interventions on the petrous bone, which are specific to individual patients. An example case will also be used to present the application of 3D reconstruction techniques in a complex treatment plan in mouth, jaw and facial surgery. A further lecture on this medical discipline provides information about the progress and innovations in computer-assisted surgery.
Rapid.Tech 2014 – the full spectrum of additive manufacturing
Alongside the “Medical technology” specialist forum, there will be forums for dental technology and aviation, a user conference and the design engineer days at Rapid.Tech 2014. The Rapid.Tech specialist trade fair provides comprehensive information about the latest developments in materials, procedures and machines. “Additive manufacturing processes are becoming ever more relevant across multiple industries and are playing an increasingly important part in production processes. This is generating an enormous demand for information, as well as for an interchange of experiences and discussion”, explained Wieland Kniffka, Head of Messe Erfurt. “Rapid.Tech is setting standards here, with its mix of think-tank, knowledge transfer and an exhibition geared toward practical applications.”
FabCon 3.D – 3D printing for consumers and industry
From 15–17 May 2014, Messe Erfurt will also be hosting the second German Personal Fabrication Convention, FabCon 3.D. Numerous exhibitors will be showcasing current developments and products from the 3D printing sector for entrepreneurs, designers, hobbyists and any other interested parties. The combination of Rapid.Tech and the “Industrial Day” (15 May 2014) will give fans and industry experts a chance to engage in direct dialogue and provide insights into the latest developments for the consumer market in the up-and-coming technology of 3D printing.