Shapeways, the 3D printing service and marketplace, announced that it is venturing into the orthosis and prosthesis market. To do this, the New-York based company is partnering with industrial 3D printing company EOS.
Together, these 3D printing giants will be offering “market-ready solutions” for orthoses and prostheses. In order to launch this expansion, the company is offering bio-degradable, “revolutionary” PA11 to its customers.
“Expanding our reach to the medical industry to make life-changing enhancements available is something we could have only imagined when we first opened our doors,” said Greg Kress, CEO of Shapeways.
“We look forward to working with the medical industry and creating products such as prosthetic limbs, making someone’s life better. This is what the 3D Printing industry has been working towards, and making it available to businesses of all sizes is a real dream.”
Making Affordable Materials Available for Prosthetics
EOS and Shapeways have collaborated before and PA11 is the result of their ongoing partnership. The material is sourced from castor oil and promises a high impact resistance, elasticity and nylon properties.
“Collaborating with the industry visionaries at Shapeways has always felt like a privilege,” said Glynn Fletcher, EOS North America president.
“Working together to combine their expertise, our technology with an eco-friendly polymer breakthrough seems like an appropriate extension to our complementary pioneering attitude.”
Shapeways explains in a press release that the market-ready orthosis and prosthesis will be available to “designers and businesses of all sizes.” PA11 is the company’s way to collaborate with medical practitioners. It is available in its natural white finish, but it’s possible to dye the material to your preferred color.
There will always be a need in the medical market to create parts such as prosthetics and braces. With affordable materials, it will be possible to provide those in need with customized medical enhancements.
“PA11 has the potential to transform how the medical industry can use 3D printing to improve patient outcomes,” said Fletcher. “It has the additional benefit of lowering the negative, ecological effects that are generally associated with petroleum-based plastics.”