Bioprotece enhances implant manufacturing with Eplus3D’s metal Additive Manufacturing technology

May 28, 2024

Eplus3D has been selected as a partner for Bioprotece S.A. to enhance its metal Additive Manufacturing capabilities (Courtesy Eplus3D)
Eplus3D has been selected as a partner for Bioprotece S.A. to enhance its metal Additive Manufacturing capabilities (Courtesy Eplus3D)

Eplus3D, based in Hangzhou, China, has been selected as a partner for Bioprotece S.A., an implant manufacturer in Argentina, to enhance its metal Additive Manufacturing capabilities. Bioprotece acquired the EP-M260 Metal Additive Manufacturing machine, an industrial-grade machine that boasts optional power settings of 500W or 700W, coupled with a versatile range of manufacturing layer thicknesses (20 – 120 μm), thereby ensuring enhanced efficiency in producing high-performance, complex structure metal parts.

Manuel Nelson, Manager of 3D Printing Division, explained, “We started with a five-axis machining centre”. However, in 2013, the increased demand for customised implants in Argentina exposed the limitations of traditional CNC machining – slow, expensive, and limiting competitiveness. Nelson added, “to produce custom implants, machines had to be reprogrammed and production schedules changed. Stopping a machine for three days to produce custom parts proved to be inefficient. Partnering for 3D printed implant designs offered a partial solution, but a delivery time of 5 months remained unacceptable for oncology patients.”

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“We met with the managers who have made the decision to invest in the new printer. Eplus3D engineers gave us a recommendation on which machine to buy,” Nelson shared. Transparency regarding costs, including filter consumption, reportedly played a crucial role in the decision-making process of knowing the pros and cons to evaluate which machine to purchase.

“Previously, simple implants, such as Temporomandibular Joint Reconstruction, with high volumes took a week to produce with CNC machining. Now, thanks to metal 3D printing, we can deliver these parts overnight,” Nelson emphasised.

Implants additively manufactured by Bioprotece with the EP-M260 (Courtesy Eplus3D)
Implants additively manufactured by Bioprotece with the EP-M260 (Courtesy Eplus3D)

The EP-M260 metal Additive Manufacturing machine also benefits the company’s ongoing development and fostering of implant innovation. Currently, Bioprotece relies on titanium as its primary material for manufacturing two pivotal additively manufactured implants: the trabecular titanium spine line (PLIF, TLIF, ALIF; XLIF; ACIF) and the uncemented hip replacement. Furthermore, the company offers tailored implant customisation services, underscoring its commitment to meeting diverse client needs.

The integration of advanced metal Additive Manufacturing technology has allowed Bioprotece to increase its market share by 35%. The company produces up to 30% of its implants using the latest Additive Manufacturing methods.

“We are renowned as the swiftest custom implant manufacturer in Argentina,” declared Nelson. Furthermore, the implementation of Additive Manufacturing has substantially reduced response times for emergency implants, underscoring Bioprotece’s commitment to efficiency and innovation in addressing critical healthcare needs.

In response to rising demand and the need to expand its material range, Bioprotece is implementing an expansion of its metal Additive Manufacturing production capabilities. The Manager of the 3D Printing Division explained, “The purchase of the next printer is planned for 2024, likely an EP-M260 or an EP-M150. Occasionally, our clientele requests components crafted from alternative materials, necessitating outsourcing, which presents a significant logistical challenge. Our vision entails acquiring a secondary printer that can accommodate these less commonly used materials within Argentina.”

This strategic expansion demonstrates Bioprotece’s dedication to delivering premium-quality parts, enhancing patient outcomes, and driving innovation in the realm of medical implants. The ongoing collaboration with Eplus3D reinforces this commitment, furnishing healthcare practitioners with cutting-edge solutions and extending benefits to an expanded patient demographic.

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  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
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  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

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