One of the most important factors to influence design decisions during the process of development of medical devices is the time-to-market. Constraints in the conventional manufacturing processes have made the healthcare industry seek newer ways of developing customized, patient-specific implants. We have already seen additive manufacturing being widely used for medical applications like anatomical models, dentistry, prosthetics and much more. But what sets it apart from traditional ways of manufacturing is its ability to create extremely complex geometries and functional designs that are light-weight, at a lower cost in a much shorter timeframe.
Bottlenecks in current modelling softwares
Developing patient-specific implants through additive manufacturing is relatively easier than conventional methods, but designing the customized implant to adapt to the patient’s body precisely has its own limitations. The current 3D modelling softwares do not provide robust workflows to process patient-specific data that can be customised to suit the individual. This leads to many iterations, resulting in a longer product development cycle, and higher cost.
Summarizing, the current challenges in designing customized implantable medical devices for additive manufacturing are –
- Designing complex features and lattices suitable for osteo-integration.
- Developing efficient workflows to ensure traceability and repeatability; and
- Applying suitable lattice structures to a required design.
Ntopology for product development of customized medical implants
With AM systems advancing every day, and regulators catching up with the advancements of this technology, a subsequent advanced design software is required to eliminate the challenges that exist.
Due to the current bottlenecks in most of design softwares, healthcare and medical firms are turning to look for design tools to develop highly engineered products meant for advanced manufacturing. Ntopology is a platform that not only helps in automating the design processes, but also in acceleration of the product development cycle.
Customized medical implants are becoming increasingly more important for higher quality patient outcomes, and here’s how Ntopology is helping achieve it with cost-effective customer specific solutions.
- Patient-specific scan data – Each patient-specific solution requires a lot of manual data processing, and a lot of effort for implant modelling to ensure the perfect conformal fixturing. Importing personalized data sets in nTop software allows closer conformal geometry for patient-specific solutions; resulting in ease of designing and almost nil requirement for further iterations.
- Conformal fixturing – Design without boundaries is always an advantage when it comes to creating a customized product that varies with every individual. With nTop’s unbreakable Boolean operations a design engineer can quickly create net shaped fixturing in a patient-specific conformal geometry, so the implant easily adapts to the patient’s body.
- Automated design workflows – A custom implant can take a fairly long time to design, even when provided with necessary data. In such a scenario, medical professionals tend to face a number of operational bottlenecks like a delay in the next course of action. An automated design workflow allows for large range of design variation to easily accommodate any change in the geometry.
With better engineering design platform offering speed up to 10x faster for designing and advanced manufacturing, medical firms are beginning to rely upon their capabilities more than ever. The speed advantage not only allows them to complete the projects faster, but also delivers much better product testing iterations to ensure that the customized implant is durable and effective.
If you are into manufacturing or designing of customized medical implants or devices in India, or are someone who’d like to learn more about how nTopology helps in faster and better product development in the medical industry, get in touch with Excel3D via email.