FMI Instrumed, a contract medical manufacturer based in Schiedam in the Benelux, has invested in an M2 Dual Laser metal printer from Concept Laser to produce serial orthopaedic titanium implants.
The company specialises in producing medical implants and instruments, such as poly-axial bone screws and other orthopaedic implants for European and American OEMs. It’s built its reputation with specialised high-precision machining processes but is now intending to make new types of implants with porous structures and components that cannot be produced with existing CNC technology.
To this end, FMI and 8 other companies joined AddLab, a shared facility for metal 3D printing run by Additive Industries. This experience left the company keen to use metal 3D printing as a serious production technology.
FMI's Managing Director Henk Jansen commented “Having a metal 3D printer alone is not enough, because metal 3D printing is just one part of the process. You also need to be able to do all the finishing in house.”
FMI chose Concept Laser because of the dual laser option with its ability to run dual production or to continue with just one laser if the other one is down. Jansen added: “Furthermore, the fact that the powder does not come into contact with air is important to us as it makes the process ATEX-secure and in turn that guarantees the safety of our employees.”
Another factor was the process monitoring modules that were also available as many OEMs in this sector require quality assurance and certification. Jansen explained: ”That guarantees the client 100% reliable products and a repeatable process. Therefore we are monitoring every process step in detail.” The company expects to complete the process validation and to start printing medical implants, integrated in other machining and finishing processes, within the next few months.
Jansen concluded: “We specifically liked the construction of the printer itself and the manufacturer's DNA and we liked the installation and service of supplier Landré, guaranteeing service support close to home.”