3D Printing and Medicine
Some of the great potential uses for additive manufacturing are in medicine, where the ability to create customized artificial joints or implants specific to a patient hold much promise. With that comes some practical considerations, including managing the quality of such devices. This discussion was at the center of the MD&M BIOMEDigital Conference panel on applications of 3D printing in medtech. The panel was sponsored by Formlabs, Trelleborg and Protolabs, and experts from the Veterans Administration and the Mayo Clinic were among the presenters.
While 3D printing allows for great flexibility, multiple iterations, quick turnover and a lot of durable, versatile material options, when the product is being printed at the medical facility, the hospital is somewhat left to its own devices when it comes down to quality management.
Medical organizations using 3D printers also must develop a quality management system, which is pretty new to the hospitals printing in-house.
“This has been wild and new for us, but quite important in terms of learning how to be a manufacturer,” said Dr. Beth Ripley, director of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) 3D printing network at VA Health Care Systems. “We are still learning. This is not something you just pull off the shelf. Each quality management system needs to be built for the organization.”
New White Paper Looks at Temperature Sensing
Fiber-optic temperature sensors are critical for harsh environments where traditional electric sensors cannot perform reliably. Temperature monitoring is vital to many processes, as extreme temperatures can damage manufacturing and testing capabilities. A new white paper sponsored by Micronor describes phosphor thermometry, which provides accurate and reliable temperature sensing in demanding applications.