In a recent joint effort, Tangible Solutions, VJ Technologies, and Simmetrix studied the integration of physical and digital design processes in the manufacturing of medical implants. The results of the study have been released in a white paper, “Physical to Digital Design Integration for Medical Implants,” which is available for free upon request.
A digitally interconnected design process that links additive manufacturing conditions, Computed Tomography (CT) for non-destructive inspection, and computer modeling for accurate performance assessment of the manufactured part, has the potential to reshape engineering design philosophy and lead to data-informed business decisions, reduced part-to-part variability, and cost savings through better products.
Patient-specific design is desired in orthopedic implants intended for an anterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure. The shape of load-bearing coils necessary for stiffness reduction and, the superior-inferior surface roughness designed for osseointegration and anti-migration are two design requirements that are achieved via Additive Manufacturing.
The data available to design engineers has historically been inaccessible due to technology limitations. Advances in CT technologies can now provide data such as deviations from nominal dimensions, porosity location and density, lack of fusion and inclusion population. CT makes the connection between the physical part and a digital geometric representation for employing engineering simulation capabilities to evaluate performance of fabricated implants.
The additional data provided by CT, integrated with Additive Manufacturing and computer modeling will allow design engineers to assess the fabrication process and evaluate the structural integrity of medical devices before they are released into the market for medical use. The “Physical to Digital Design Integration for Medical Implants” white paper can be requested at firstname.lastname@example.org.