On-demand manufacturing serving the healthcare industry
Time constraints are one of the major challenges facing the healthcare and medical industries. Players in these fields often need to innovate and create new tools to fight viruses and diseases in order to rapidly improve technologies and medical devices. On-demand manufacturing is a possible solution to accelerate the innovation process and support the development of these industries.
As a major player in custom manufacturing, Xometry is an ideal solution for all types of manufacturing projects, from innovative prototyping to mass production. Customers in the medical industry benefit from the ability to customize designs and products, short-term teams, high-precision parts, and scalability and repeatability for large production volumes.
Large production capacities compatible with the medical industry
Thanks to its network of 2,000 suppliers throughout Europe, Xometry offers a wide range of manufacturing technologies adapted to the medical industry and its specific requirements in terms of quality and safety. The most used technologies are:
- CNC machining (turning, milling, drilling): This technology produces very precise metal parts and can process complex shapes and contours. CNC machining is perfect for the production of surgical equipment and tools.
- 3D printing (FDM, SLS, MJF, SLA, Carbon DLS, DMLS): This process is mainly used to manufacture products from plastics, resins and elastomers, but metal 3D printing (DMLS) is also possible . Carbon DLS enables the production of technical elastomer parts with strength and resilience comparable to rubber. This technology has various applications in the medical industry.
- Injection Molding: Plastic injection molding is a cost effective way to produce high precision, accuracy and quality parts for the medical industry. Injection molded parts comply with industry standards and regulations and can be manufactured in high volumes without loss of consistency.
Access to a variety of biocompatible materials is another reason Xometry is the perfect parts supply partner. These materials, often used for joints, bone plates and hardware devices, must be designed to interact with biologically active systems.
- Biocompatible metals (CNC machining, DMLS): cobalt chrome and titanium (Ti6AL4V) can be used for implants as they have good tensile and corrosion resistance, while stainless steel and aluminum are mainly used for equipment and tools.
- Biocompatible plastics (3D printing, injection molding): they offer better options in terms of complexity and customization. Materials such as ABS, Nylon PA 12, ULTEM 1010, CE 221, Silicone (Sil 30) and True Silicone all have various properties (heat resistant, corrosion resistant, flexible) which can meet the requirements of specific parts and designs.
Applications of on-demand manufacturing in the medical industry
The rapid development of new additive manufacturing technologies and the refinement of processes such as CNC machining and injection molding have led to more applications in the medical and healthcare industries. Personal medical devices (PMDs) represent a significant percentage of customer manufacturing applications in the medical industry. 3D printing notably allows the high level of customization required for these devices (implants, orthoses, prostheses, bionics).
The speed and scalability of CNC milling makes it perfect for bulk production, general purpose equipment, and surgical devices. It is also a good option to produce spare parts for medical machinery. Thanks to its tight tolerances (±0.05 mm, ±0.025 with micromachining), CNC machining is ideal for small parts and body implants.
When it comes to prototyping and research, on-demand manufacturing allows you to try every possible combination and minimize the risk of error.
The application of manufacturing technologies such as CNC machining, 3D printing, injection molding and biocompatible materials is strictly regulated by international standards such as ISO 13485, ISO 10993 and ISO 9001:2015. Xometry has these certifications and can also provide certificates for different materials.
Xometry’s Past Experiences in the Medical Industry
Over the years, Xometry has acquired solid experience in manufacturing parts for the health and medical industries. The company has supported innovative projects like Viralink, an efficient device that destroys viruses in the air. Xometry provided Paul Byrne, a British engineer, with CNC machined parts in a short time. Using Xometry enabled it to source a number of parts for its Viralink devices in just five weeks.
Xometry’s supply chain solutions have also helped ClearMask, a medical supplies company. By ramping up production, the company was able to produce millions of masks in just a few months and deal with shortages during the pandemic.