rms Company adds 3D Systems DMP Flex 350 Dual to expand medical device production
January 19, 2023
3D Systems, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA, has announced that medical device manufacturer rms Company, headquartered in Coon Rapids, Minneapolis, USA, has added a further DMP Flex 350 Dual Additive Manufacturing machine to its production workflow. rms currently has over thirty DMP machines in its AM facility, enabling the company to offer what it calls a ‘powder to package’ capability to medical device OEMS.
‘Powder to package’ is said to encompass the entire manufacturing and post-processing workflow required to go from a digital file to a sterilised, packaged final product ready for the surgical suite. With the addition of the DMP Flex 350 Dual, rms believes it will be able to expand the types of implants they produce and accelerate throughput — helping to address the evolving application needs of the industry.
Over the course of four years, 3D Systems has helped rms expand its portfolio of direct metal Additive Manufacturing machines. With the addition of the DMP Flex 350 Dual – which reputedly enables up to 50% productivity increases – rms will be able to increase throughput for smaller implants, including those intended for spinal applications. The company believes that the same productivity increases will also open new opportunities in the production of large joint and extremity implants, while allowing flexibility for existing projects.
“The increase in efficiency we get from the DMP Flex 350 Dual system creates new opportunities for larger and taller parts which were economically challenging with a single laser system,” stated Ryan Kircher, senior AM engineer, rms Company. “Another key reason rms Company decided to invest in a DMP Flex 350 Dual is that it is engineered in a way that allows us to produce the high precision, high-quality products we expect from our current installation of DMP systems without changing the processing parameters we validated when we initially developed our AM capabilities. This will allow us to explore not only new products but also reduce production times and costs on the products we are already making today.”
Troy Olson, Director of Operations – AM division, rms Company, added, “The rms additive division owes a large part of our success to our customers. Over the past several years, our customers have come to expect a continual flow of high-quality, additively manufactured medical devices. Our powder-to-package solution provides a complete end-to-end value proposition that allows us to control the entire manufacturing and packaging process flow. A key element of our process flow is the reliability and performance we get from our stable of thirty plus 3D Systems’ DMP ProX® 320 and DMP Flex 350 machines. Uptime on these machines is crucial for us to maintain our customer commitments. Our printers operate on a 24/7 production cadence, which leaves little room for downtime. 3D Systems has taken these first-in-class single laser platforms and have expanded on that technology with the DMP Flex 350 Dual. During our validation process, the DMP Flex 350 Dual showed no measurable differences in mechanical properties or dimensional accuracy. We are excited to add this new capability to our existing printing operation. As we continue to scale our additive manufacturing business, the 3D Systems DMP Flex 350 Dual will be at the forefront of our growth strategy.”
The DMP Flex 350 Dual features a dual-laser configuration whilst reputedly maintaining the benefits of the single-laser configuration, including flexible application use and quick-swap build modules, and a central server to manage build jobs, materials, settings, and maintenance for 24/7 productivity. Additionally, the company’s vacuum chamber is said to significantly reduces argon gas consumption while delivering best-in-class oxygen purity (<25 ppm). The AM machine also includes Oqton’s 3DXpert.
“Our Application Innovation Group worked alongside the rms team to develop, characterise and validate the DMP Flex 350 Dual as a seamless solution within their production environment,” stated Jeph Ruppert, Director – Innovation Group, 3D Systems. “Our Direct Metal Printing (DMP) platform is recognised as an industry-leading technology for its ability to produce exceptionally high feature resolution parts of high chemical purity which makes it ideal for medical devices. Our collective application and technology expertise combined with the unparalleled capabilities of the DMP Flex 350 Dual is helping drive innovation for rms. They’ve established themselves as a world-class medical device manufacturer, and we are proud to be part of that journey.”
Menno Ellis, executive vice president, healthcare solutions, 3D Systems, concluded, “Our collaboration with rms has spanned several years, and during that time rms has grown at a rate and scale that is truly impressive, They have not only delivered excellent solutions to the medical device community but have also grown their in-house additive knowledge, helping guide the industry to a more mature and robust position. Today, rms is expanding upon its capabilities and capacity with the addition of the DMP Flex 350 Dual. I look forward to seeing how this will enhance the breadth of applications they will be able to address for their customers, and the impact it will have for growth.”