Russia’s Conmet employs Trumpf technology for the production of custom craniomaxillofacial implants

December 12, 2018

December 12, 2018

Russia's Conmet employs Trumpf technology for the production of custom craniomaxillofacial implants

Conmet uses Trumpf’s TruPrint 1000 AM system to produce customised craniomaxillofacial implants (Courtesy Trumpf)


In the conventional manufacturing of craniomaxillofacial implants, the surgeon must cut the implant out of a perforated titanium plate during an operation, while the patient is under anaesthetic, and then shape it to size in the operating room. This can lead to time pressure and added stress for the surgeon, potentially leading to variations in the quality of fit.

The production of personalised patient implants prior to surgery using metal Additive Manufacturing has been one of the most successful applications for the technology to date. One user of metal Additive Manufacturing in the production of patient implants is Conmet, a market leader in the field of craniomaxillofacial surgery and implantology based in Moscow, Russia.

The company is currently using TruPrint 1000 AM systems produced by Trumpf, Ditzingen, Germany, to manufacture implant components for markets in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and will soon be supplying elsewhere in Europe.

Conmet first began investigating Additive Manufacturing for the production of implants around a decade ago. At the time, however, the technology was still insufficiently mature for such applications. Andreas Margolf, Project Manager for Additive Manufacturing at Trumpf, commented, “Conmet asked various machine-tool suppliers to produce benchmark parts but wasn’t happy with the quality.”

In 2017, following a wide range of significant developments in Additive Manufacturing technology over the past decade, the company made the decision to reinvestigate the technology and approached Trumpf to find out how far it had evolved. “We set up a second meeting in Ditzingen,” Margolf continued. “Over the course of two days, our experts answered all their questions on Additive Manufacturing, while our machines produced the benchmark parts.”

This time, Conmet was sufficiently impressed by the quality of parts and the design of the system, all of which met its requirements. “Trumpf is the only supplier on the market for 3D printing that develops its own lasers and all the optical components,” Margolf added. “Trumpf also has a wealth of experience in the areas of machine tools and services. That means we’re able to assist Conmet with any aspect of the process.”


The right machine with the right process parameters

The first task for Trumpf’s team was to determine the right machine for Conmet, along with the relevant process parameters for the production of medical implants. According to Trumpf, it soon became clear that the ideal setup was Trumpf’s own TruPrint 1000 AM system. This machine is especially compact and could therefore be comfortably installed in Conmet’s existing production facilities. Equipped with a 200 W fibre laser developed in-house by TRUMPF, the machine is also highly suitable for use with the titanium alloys generally used to produce medical implants.

Trumpf also assisted Conmet in fine-tuning the focal diameter at which the laser beam hits the powder bed. “Our tests showed that reducing the focal diameter to 30 µm improves the surface smoothness of the implants by around 20%,” Margolf explained. “This makes the process slower and slightly more expensive, but reduces the cost of post-processing the surface.”


A 40% reduction in production costs

Conmet has now been operating with the TruPrint 1000 at its Moscow production facilities since the beginning of 2018, for the production of dental components and craniomaxillofacial implants, for example for cancer patients. These products are marketed in the CIS region and in Europe.

To manufacture the implants, hospitals provide Conmet with the CT data of the patients who require them; the company’s engineers then design the implant in consultation with the surgeon before additively manufacturing it on the TruPrint 1000. “We currently produce sixty implants a month with the TruPrint 1000, and we’re planning to increase our output by 10%,” stated Nadeschda Morozova, Project Manager at Conmet.

The implants produced are said to be of an especially high quality overall, as well as being substantially cheaper than conventionally manufactured implants. “Compared to conventional machining methods such as turning and milling, the new process saves us 40% in production costs,” Morozova reported.

In the near future, the company stated that it intends to begin production of custom-fit spinal fixation devices using AM. The company also has plans to manufacture mass-produced prosthetics with the TruPrint 1000. For this, it will once again opt for Trumpf technology with a TruPrint 3000, which features a larger build chamber.

Medical devices produced by Conmet are certified according to European standards, signifying a high degree of reliability and repeatability. Since Trumpf supplies not only the AM machine but also the associated products, including substrate plate, software and process parameters, it was stated that the implants produced are highly congruent.

In addition, Trumpf Moscow provides a local service partner and Russian-speaking technicians to support Conmet wherever necessary. “It’s not just about the customer buying equipment from us; we also want to see them earn money,” Margolf concluded. “Conmet’s success with Additive Manufacturing shows we’re on the right track!”

With a staff of about 13,400, Trumpf generated sales of nearly €3.6 billion for the 2017/18 fiscal year. The company has a development ratio of over 9% and remains an independent, family-owned business, which is represented by over seventy global subsidiaries in Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, the USA, Mexico, China and Japan.

December 12, 2018

About Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine

Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

Our focus is the entire metal AM process from design to application.

Each issue is available as an easy-to-navigate digital edition and a high-quality print publication.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • 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

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap