Requirements and system specifications for a factory-of-the-future medical 3D printing platform will be presented. TNO, a Dutch non-profit research center, has developed a proof-of-concept manufacturing cell, consisting of a circular conveyor system with different parts on each platform. The platforms travel around the conveyor carousel-style, where parts are 3D printed, 3D scanned to test for defects or voids, laser-machined for critical features, and then removed with an integrated pick-and-place robot. The methodology for choosing a carousel based system and the modeling software used to determine the number of build platforms needed to optimize cycle time will be discussed. An IALDA laser system will be compared to other light sources used in 3D printing. A scanning system used for visual and thermal inspection along with the challenges of using this data to qualify medically-regulated products will be shared. Case studies involving bioresorable breast scaffolds and custom orthotics will be presented. Still in the research phase, the upcoming process and regulatory hurdles to transition the technology from TRL 4 to TRL 9 will be described.
- Understand current trends in medical 3D printing and what’s coming next
- Describe the hurdles and challenges to 3D print next generation medical products
- Define the system and process requirements to produce products in a regulated environment