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HEIMSHEIM, Germany/BIRMINGHAM, UK: Rapid Shape is evaluating a partnership between its vat polymerisation 3D-printing technology and a new class of bioresorbable materials trademarked 4Degra from 4D Biomaterials.
A UK-based University of Birmingham spin-out company, 4D Biomaterials, developed 4Degra with the aim of improving patient care and recovery after major medical procedures. It has used 3D printers from Rapid Shape to produce the first prototype medical devices with the new resin-based inks, yielding highly encouraging results that are paving the way for the two companies to work together to further develop medical devices using the revolutionary new materials.
The 4Degra resin inks are based on revolutionary polycarbonate urethane chemistry and can be printed using digital light processing to create finely detailed implantable medical devices that support the body’s natural healing processes before degrading into harmless by-products that are absorbed and removed through normal metabolic processes. The chemistry can also be tuned so that the 3D-printed product exhibits a wide range of mechanical properties, from soft, pliable adipose tissue-like behaviour to firm and rigid bone-like properties.
As market leader in the hearing aid industry and top player in the dental 3D printer space, Rapid Shape has extensive experience with medical material, device and workflow validation and intends to increase the use of its systems with 4Degra. Rapid Shape is using next-generation force feedback technology to print parts at high speed, using the lowest layer-by-layer separation forces and with in situ process control.
“Working with 4D Biomaterials provides us with the opportunity to expand our offering further into the medical device market,” says Andreas Schultheiss, CEO of Rapid Shape. “4Degra represents a breakthrough in biocompatible materials, and working with the 4D Biomaterials team allows us to be part of something truly innovative when it comes to patient care.”
Philip Smith, CEO of 4D Biomaterials, said, “Rapid Shape’s machines are a great match with our 4Degra resin inks and we look forward to working together with them and medical device vendors to bring about a new era of innovation in 3D-printed resorbable medical devices.”
More information about Rapid Shape can be found here.