Foto eines Gebisses aus dem 3D-Drucker



—— 3D printing is becoming increasingly interesting for the production of medical products. Simon Schlagintweit from TÜV SÜD and his team are already on hand to help and advise companies.

“Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, is a relativelynew technology that has made major strides over the past ten to fifteen years and is now used in many industries. It has obvious advantages: compared to more conventional manufacturing processes such as casting or milling, there are practically no limits for the designs of AM products. Manufacturing can be decentralized—wherever a given machine is located—and one-off pieces are not a problem. These advantages also make this technology ideal for medical applications. AM processes usually ­involve metal, polymer or ceramic powders that are laid down layer by layer and fused with the help of high-energy ­laser beams; these can be used to create individually customized prostheses, implants or orthoses.

Simon Schlagintweit laughs into the camera with his arms crossed.

„From new dentures to artificial hip and knee joints, to splints for fractures, anything is possible.“

Simon Schlagintweit, Lead Auditor & Medical Expert Additive Manufacturing at TÜV SÜD

Any medical product introduced to the market must comply with a strict set of regulations designed to ensure that products are effective and safe. This applies to all AM-produced products as well. Therefore it’s particularly important that manufacturers pay attention to production quality. This starts with the right machines and materials, and ends with qualified employees. There’s also a lot to consider when designing such a product: for instance, that it can be completely sterilized in every last nook and cranny. My team and I support manufacturers with training and continuing education programs and have put together comprehensive guidelines to help them meet the stringent quality requirements. A new QM ISO standard for AM will also be released this year, one that I helped write. Manufacturers will then be certified on the basis of the standard — all so that medical devices truly help people and enable them to live better lives.”

Close-up of a metal dentition from the 3D printer surrounded by fine particle sand.
One hand holds a metal dentition from the 3D printer
Close-up of a single tooth held by two fingers.


TÜV SÜD (portrait); Getty Images/zoranm (3D printing)