Linde Group a chemical company based in Munich will work with 3D Medlab an authority in clinical printing to analyze optimal environmental conditions for additive manufacturing.
In 3D printing, any foreign matter in the print chamber can cause adverse effects on printed product and gases, in particular, do play a major role in the process. The two firms have committed to carrying out several environmental tests to come up with sustainable methods of reusing gases emitted during production. Once the process has been hacked, the printing of composite lattice used in medical apparatus will be possible.
Speaking about the collaboration, Pierre Forêt, a Senior Manufacturing Expert at Linde acknowledged that the company’s proficiency with gases and their knowledge on medical devices production makes them an ideal partner. He further added that the company is delighted to work on this project.
Linde Group’s Advancement in Additive Manufacturing
As one of the largest and oldest industrial gas company having been founded in 1879 in Ireland, they announced revenues of $28 Billion last year. The company has establishments in various markets namely automobiles, aviation, food and beverages and 3D printing through Linde Gases division, the pioneer of ADDvance O2 technology which allows for the analysis and precise control of humidity and oxygen levels in the printing chamber.
In 2018 at Formnext a 3D Printing exhibition in Frankfurt, Linde announced the development of an improved ADDvance powder cabinet for metal materials to ensure the sensitivity of metal powders used in the 3D printing process retain their quality. This process saw them start working with GEFERTEC a Germany based 3D printer and subsequently 3D Medlab to explore gas processing in 3D printing.
Need for Improvements in Additively Manufactured Parts
The medical sector is a beneficiary of the technology and through the partnership with Medlab, Linde hopes to avail 3D printed medical parts that have been proven to be versatile compared to other normally produced parts. Multidimensional grid orthopaedic products are more adaptable to the patient’s body movement and have been found to easily take on the bone and tissue structure of the recipient.
Further, 3D printing helps hasten manufacturing of parts through a repeatable process capable of producing many parts at once. To get to this point however, there is need for a highly optimized printer chamber that works without potential alteration of end product in the event of impurities which work on altering the chemical composition of used metals.
Focus of Linde and Medlab’s Partnership
Through the partnership, Linde and Medlab will perform atmospheric experiments on an helium /argon gas mix specifically designed for this tests. They will also avail their ADDvance O2 precision measuring and analysis technology to best determine the printing conditions to adopt.
Though the two firms are currently working on Ti-6AI-4V lattice structures, they may venture into more collaborations later on. They are keen on exploring nickel titanium materials because of their shape memory and elasticity aspects which makes them suitable for surgical items like stents.
The CEO of 3D Medlab, Gaël Volpi has praised their working relationship with Linde saying the firm is devoted to best practices in 3D printing. 3D Medlab has also committed to adhering to the engineering and design process for the benefit of their clients.