Medical & Dental

3D LifePrints expands point-of-care medical 3D printing services to US

Medical device manufacturer 3D LifePrints has announced plans to expand its point-of-care medical 3D printing services to the US with the opening of a new facility in Texas.

Significantly, the move marks the company’s first international expansion and will be followed by the launch of several new point-of-care hubs in other US states. 

The company is also bolstering its US team by bringing physician and former NASA astronaut Dr. Scott E. Parazynski into the fold. Parazynski will join the firm’s leadership team and Board of Directors to assist with its long-term strategic move state-side. 

“3D printing is revolutionizing the healthcare industry across the globe, providing surgeons and clinicians with patient-specific products and services in order to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs,” said Paul Fotheringham, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of 3D LifePrints. “We are delighted to begin our international expansion in the US, where we are already able to provide a range of our state-of-the-art 3D medical solutions.

“It is also a huge honor for us to welcome Dr. Parazynski to our leadership team; to have attracted a figure of his caliber demonstrates the ambitions of our company.”

3D LifePrints is expanding its point-of-care medical 3D printing hub model to the US. Photo via 3D LifePrints.
3D LifePrints is expanding its point-of-care medical 3D printing hub model to the US. Photo via 3D LifePrints.

From humanitarian aid to international expansion

3D LifePrints was originally established as a humanitarian aid group providing 3D printed prosthetics to African amputees. Since then, the firm has expanded to set up four ‘innovation hubs’ across the UK from which it 3D prints surgical models to help patients better understand their conditions and provide surgeons with pre-operative training tools. 

The hubs are equipped with FDM, SLS, SLA and Polyjet 3D printing technologies, and over the last few years have seen continued expansion thanks to successive funding rounds. In 2018, 3D LifePrints secured £500,000 worth of investment to continue growing its 3D printing facilities embedded within various hospitals in the UK.

In March last year, the company raised a further £1.2 million to bring its hub-based model to more cities in the UK, touting international expansion plans were on the horizon. In June, this vision was bolstered with the gain of ISO certification for the quality assurance procedures behind its 3D printed medical models and devices. 

Now, the firm’s international ambitions have become reality, as it looks to open its first medical 3D printing facility in the US. 

A surgeon holding a 3D LifePrints 3D printed cardiac model.
3D LifePrints has gained ISO 13485:2016 certification for its Embedmed QMS. Photo via 3D LifePrints.

State-side medical 3D printing services

3D LifePrints is supported by the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), and is currently part of the association’s US Accelerator program, in partnership with Dell Medical School in Austin, Texas. 

The firm will establish its hub-based model in the US by opening embedded medical 3D printing facilities throughout Texas. In partnership with leading US hospitals, the hubs will provide point-of-care in-house medical 3D printing services that will help hospitals to lower their operational costs and improve patient outcomes. 

The 3D LifePrints team will work closely with surgeons and clinicians at the host hospitals to deliver virtual and 3D printed patient-specific anatomical models, in addition to customized surgical stimulation and training devices. The medical devices will be used across a wide range of surgical specialties such as pediatric, cardiothoracic, orthopedic, oncology, and cranio-maxillofacial. 

Through 3D LifePrints’ point-of-care service, surgeons and clinicians can leverage the expertise of on-site biomedical engineers and utilize a range of 3D printing hardware and software offerings. The embedded hub model will enable host hospitals to benefit from having an in-house 3D printing service with easy access to engineers and immediate delivery of devices. The company will also offer a remote service through its digital platform, EmbedMed.

The opening of the new hubs will mark the company’s first international expansion, and will be followed by the launch of additional point-of-care hubs in several other states, although potential locations have not yet been disclosed. 

“We are thrilled to hear of 3D LifePrints’ success in the US, whose unique business model and technologies are helping to advance care both for patients and clinicians,” said Paul Benton, Managing Director of International ABHI. “I am delighted that through programs like the US Accelerator, UK-based companies can find the opportunity to connect with new partners and extend the benefits of their services.”

3D Lifeprints technology has been utilized in a range of medical applications including soft printed models to simulate operations (pictured). Photo via 3D Lifeprint.
3D Lifeprints’ technology has been utilized in a range of medical applications including soft printed models to simulate operations (pictured). Photo via 3D Lifeprints.

Ex-astronaut Parazynski strengthens US team

3D LifePrints has brought onboard physician and former NASA astronaut Parazynski, who will join its leadership team and Board of Directors to further bolster the firm’s US presence. Inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame, Parazynski brings impressive credentials to the company and is known as the first person to have both flown in space and summited Mount Everest. 

Since retiring from NASA, Parazynski founded Fluidity Technologies, a manufacturer of novel control devices for mobility in space. As a Stanford and Harvard-educated physician, he will help support 3D PrintLife’s state-side move and its long-term US strategy.

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Featured image shows 3D LifePrints is expanding its point-of-care medical 3D printing hub model to the US. Photo via 3D LifePrints.