3D printing firm clinches R&D deal with Australian hospital

Aurora Labs has signed a deal with researchers and a hospital in Australia to explore use of 3D printing to create titanium medical implants.

The objective of the project with the University of Western Australia (WA) and Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) is to develop designs, specifications and parameters for 3D printing of medical implants to use with Aurora’s small format printer.

Parameters developed will include an instructional guide for printing human medical implants using the printer.

Each party will contribute appliances, goods personnel and other resources to the project, while UWA will provide researchers.

WA will conduct research activities to optimise implant characteristics suitable for tissue ingrowth and research how to get the most consistent printing results.

RPH will provide appropriate designs of craniology plates for printing for the project and consult on the cranioplasty application after printing.

Aurora will supply maintenance and training of staff if needed to provide advice and assistance on metal printing and use of the printer.

They will also apply for a $26,000 (nearly £14,000) grant from the Australian Trade and Investment Commission to help cover costs.

David Budge, managing director of Aurora Labs, said: “This is an exciting collaboration and we are extremely pleased to be working with UWA and RPH, two leading entities in Australia. This partnership is a significant achievement for Aurora, it enhances our credibility, as well as certifying the potential application of additive manufacturing to the healthcare industry.

“It also demonstrates the advancement of additive manufacturing into multiple fields. The diversified use of titanium across a range of industries is well known, but in the medical field titanium is the most compatible metal with the human body. The suitability of Aurora’s technology can service the need for on-demand medical implants that are customised to the patient.”

Last year, UK-based 3D printing firm FabRx got a government grant to fund a 3D printing process to manufacture tablets, allowing desktop protection of drugs with doses tailored to individual patients, potentially combining several medicines into a single pill.

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