MMI at RAPID 2015-Latest Medical Applications and Technology Improvements While Addressing Integration of 3D Imaging, Software and Process Validation for Almost All Regulatory Bodies


The Medical Manufacturing Innovations (MMI) series at RAPID 2015, supported by Wake Forest School of Medicine, will offer a range of opportunities to learn about the application of medical additive manufacturing (AM) from surgical devices and dental applications to bone scaffolds and bioprinting.

MMI at RAPID 2015
May 18-21, 2015
Long Beach, California USA

We caught up with Lauralyn McDaniel, Industry Manager, Medical to learn about RAPID’s MMI series in anexclusive AMazing® Q&A conversation.


AMazing®: Lauralyn, thank you for your participation. As the additive manufacturing industry is rapidly evolving, how has MMI evolved to meet industry needs since its inception in 2013?

Lauralyn: Medical applications have been an important part of RAPID since 2003. This has grown as medical applications and the use of additive manufacturing for medicine has become one of the fastest growing segments. The MMI series covers all aspects of medical manufacturing at SME events in key medical areas. In 2013, we brought the series to RAPID to highlight medical innovations in additive manufacturing.

Today, the MMI program at RAPID has evolved to include a pre-conference workshop, 2.5 days of sessions, exhibitors and features on the show floor. Together 3D imaging technologies and additive manufacturing have made medicine a leader in the use of additive for end-use products. Today, we’re seeing the complexity of patient-specific implants, scaffolds and even bioprinting converging with medical professionals. The MMI reflects this with a combination of engineers and medical doctors participating, speaking and guiding the content.

AMazing®: Are there some common interests about medical additive manufacturing that most MMI attendees share?

Lauralyn: Yes. While all are interested in the latest applications and technology improvements, they are also very focused on the integration with 3D imaging, software and process validation required for almost all regulatory bodies. This is being addressed with a pre-conference workshop on quality processes as well as in-depth presentations on some specific process topics including an update from the FDA and discussion of thermal treatment of stainless steel for 3D printed surgical tools. For applications, Wednesday morning will highlight clinical applications and will be of great interest to engineers and doctors alike.

AM_RAPID_Logo3AMazing®: What resources will be available to businesses at MMI that are interested in implementing medical additive manufacturing or improving existing operations? 

Lauralyn: Several resources will be available. The MMI conference sessions at RAPID will include key case studies and process improvement presentations. We will also have a panel discussion on Thursday morning that includes a variety of perspectives: technology developer, researcher, device manufacturer and physician. Focus will be on the future of applications and addressing the challenges that still exist. The audience will have an opportunity to ask specific questions of the experienced panelists.

On the show floor, we’ve made it a little easier for the audience to find solution-providers with experience working in the highly-regulated and exacting field of medical applications by placing MMI floor stickers in front of their booths. The 3D Playground will also showcase a variety of medical developments through a display of medical devices and tools and an operating bioprinter.

AMazing®Will there be any special sessions to help businesses with commercialization of medical additive technologies?

Lauralyn: In addition to the quality and regulatory workshop and presentations, MMI will feature a case study from Osiris Biomedical. They will share their experience in commercializing and having a 3D-printed device cleared by the FDA. The Innovation Auditions on Tuesday will include technologies of great interest to those developing applications for medical including material characterization and process control platforms.

AMazing®The MMI conference sessions will feature Medical Manufacturing Innovations I thru IV. Are there any technical sessions generating pre-conference buzz?

Lauralyn: Reflecting the diversity of medical applications, we’re hearing buzz about different areas depending on the audience. For device manufacturers, discussions of both electrical and micro-scale printing are popular. This includes micro needles, microfluidics and printing of graphene with both biological and electrical properties. For physicians and medical practitioners, case studies from hospitals and other medical centers are of great interest. Also, there is growing interest and much discussion in the area of bioprinting.

The convergence of biology and engineering in this very complex area has generated many questions including trying to decipher what exactly is real and what is hype. The MMI keynote speaker on Wednesday morning will address this very question. William Warren, Sanofi Pasteur is a recognized leader in bioprinting; first as a developer and now as a user of the technology in the testing of drugs. He will share his experience and perspective on bioprinting.

AMazing®: As a vertically oriented market, has there been a notable increase in the number of machine and material vendors attending MMI?  

Lauralyn: In the last couple of years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of vendors participating and the number of long-time vendors highlighting use in medical applications. Of particular note is the number of metal solutions, machines capable of micro-scale printing and bioprinting, particularly bio-scaffolds. The number of machines highlighting bio-compatible materials has also increased including the use of PEEK, a popular, FDA-approved material for medical devices. As the awareness of medical opportunities grows, we expect the number of vendors to increase significantly.

AMazing®: We hear about the emergence of ‘digital healthcare’. What future opportunity does digital healthcare present for MMI?

Lauralyn: Additive manufacturing may be one of the pioneering examples of digital healthcare. Combining the digital imaging files from MRIs and CT scans, the technology has enabled diagnosis and surgical planning for about 15 years. Early examples include planning complicated surgeries for separation of conjoined twins and making patient-specific hearing aid cases. As the technology, process validation, materials, and regulations develop to meet the unique needs of treatment, we’ll see this extend to more use in diagnosis, planning and treatment with patient-specific devices and tools.

AMazing®: Many industry insiders expect the global additive manufacturing medical and healthcare sector to grow significantly in the next few years. How will MMI evolve to meet the rapidly growing needs of industry? What do you hope to see?

Lauralyn: We will continue to work with industry and the medical professions to identify their challenges and bring together resources not only at the event, but also as a primary source for ideas and answers. As the complexity grows, we will also see even more collaboration of engineering and biology. We already see these two groups meeting and discussing applications and technology at RAPID. We plan to continue this trend to become the place where doctors, device manufacturers, researchers, regulatory bodies and even consumers look for the best information on how additive manufacturing could change the quality of their life.

This concludes our interview. Thank you very much Lauralyn for your participation. We are excited very appreciative of the opportunity to learn about SME’s Medical Manufacturing Innovations series. For more information about MMI at RAPID, visit:


AM_SME_Lauralyn_McDaniel_01-2013_croppedAbout Lauralyn McDaniel, Industry Manager, Medical
Lauralyn McDaniel joined SME in February 1996 and currently serves as the industry manager of medical device manufacturing. In this role, she guides SME’s medical industry strategy development and implementation, identifying potential markets, products and partners, and becoming the medical industry resource among the SME team.

McDaniel has been involved in medical manufacturing since 2000, engaging with companies and activities surrounding additive manufacturing, micro-manufacturing, nanotechnology, and many other technologies.

This work has included identifying challenges and potential solutions for medical manufacturing, writing articles on innovative technologies and processes, and leading SME’s Medical Additive/3D Printing Workgroup. Prior to joining SME, McDaniel held roles at IBA Health and Life Assurance Company and Southwest Michigan Commission. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Oakland University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame.

For nearly 25 years, RAPID Conference & Exposition, produced by SME, has defined the crucial role of additive manufacturing and empowered the establishment of an industry that continues to conceive, test, improve and manufacture new products at a faster, more cost-efficient pace. As the leader and authority figure in additive manufacturing, RAPID attracts buyers, sellers and end-users of design, prototyping, tooling and direct digital technologies to a world-class event for discovery, innovation and network

About SME
connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to advancing manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for industry. At SME, we are making the future. Together.

Maria Conrado
Event Manager


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