Medical device production scaled with 3D Systems' DMP

20th January 2023
Kristian McCann

3D Systems announced rms Company, has added the DMP Flex 350 Dual to its production workflow. rms has more than 30 3D Systems' DMP (Direct Metal Printing) 3D printers in its additive manufacturing facility, enabling the company to provide a Powder to Package capability to medical device OEMs. Powder to Package encompasses the entire manufacturing and post-processing workflow required to go from a digital file to a sterilised and packaged final product ready for the surgical suite. With the addition of the DMP Flex 350 Dual, rms believes they 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 printers from one machine to more than 30, aiding true scaled production. As a result, rms has been able to cement its reputation for additively manufacturing titanium implants. With the addition of the DMP Flex 350 Dual, rms will be able to increase throughput for smaller implants including those intended for spinal applications. They believe 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," said Ryan Kircher, Senior Additive Manufacturing 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."

"The rms additive division owes a large part of our success to our customers," said Troy Olson, Director of Operations, Additive Manufacturing Division, rms Company. "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 performance we get from our stable of 30-plus 3D Systems' DMP ProX 320 and DMP Flex 350 machines. Our printers operate on a 24/7 production cadence. 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 is the most recent addition to 3D Systems' DMP portfolio. This dual-laser configuration maintains the benefits of the single-laser configuration including flexible application use and quick-swap build modules, and a central server to manage print jobs, materials, settings, and maintenance for 24/7 productivity. Additionally, the company's vacuum chamber significantly reduces argon gas consumption while delivering best-in-class oxygen purity (<25ppm). The printer also includes Oqton's 3DXpert - the all-in-one software for industrial additive manufacturing that enables preparation, optimisation, lattice generation, and 3D printing of parts by streamlining the workflow from design to printing.

"Our Application Innovation Group worked alongside the rms team to develop, characterize and validate the DMP Flex 350 Dual as a seamless solution within their production environment," said Jeph Ruppert, director, application innovation group, 3D Systems. "Our DMP platform is recognized 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."

"Our collaboration with rms has spanned several years, and during that time rms has grown at a rate and scale that is truly impressive," said Menno Ellis, executive vice president, healthcare solutions, 3D Systems. "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."

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