3D Medical Expo 2017 3D Printing Industry Preview

3D Printing Industry are at the 3D Medical Expo in Maastricht at the southern tip of the Netherlands. Over the course of two days, four different conferences are taking place, making this event one of the biggest in the world exclusively for 3D printing in medicine.

The days are split as follows:

  • Tuesday 31st January – 3D Bioprinting and 3D Dental conference
  • Wednesday 1st February – 3D Medicine Printing and 3D Medtech conference
It won't be raining inside the MECC tomorrow! Photo of the MECC events center by Beau Jackson
It won’t be raining inside the MECC tomorrow! Photo of the MECC events center by Beau Jackson

Who’s speaking?

There are 12 speakers for each event, making a grand total of 48 seminars about 3D printing for dentistry, tissue engineering, medical aids and pharmaceuticals.

These seminars feature industry experts such as Ludwig Schultheiss, Dental Account Manager of EOS GmbH metrological systems (also exhibiting at the expo); Rene Martin, Business Manager Healthcare EMEA of Stratasys; and Kristel Van den Bergh, Corporate Innovations Manager of Additive Manufacturing Services at Materialise.

Eighteen different companies are also exhibiting their 3D medical abilities at Maastricht MECC.

Metal AM for medicine

3D Systems are demonstrating metal additive manufacturing for medical-grade implants. Our editor-in-chief Michael Petch used some of 3D Systems’ medical tech when he visited the company’s state-of-the-art Healthcare Technology Center in Colorado. Their medical technology has also been used in the landmark 27 hour operation to separate the McDonald twins in December 2016.

Another metal additive manufacturing exhibitor is the UK-based Renishaw. The 3D printing and engineering business recently reported their most recent financial data. In Maastricht the company will present medical additive manufacturing solutions including titanium craniomaxillofacial custom-made implants for the head, and also applications for 3D printing for dentistry.

Preview of Renishaw's 3D printed skull plates. Image via: RenishawDental on Twitter
Preview of Renishaw’s 3D printed skull plates. Image via: RenishawDental on Twitter

The French company Z3DLAB, who partnered with Insstek Korea in 2016 to provide orthopaedic solutions, are also here exhibiting their 3D printable metal powders, including a proprietary mix of ceramic and metal known as cermet.

3D bioprinters

EnvisionTEC’s 3D bioplotter is the 3D printer used by many of the world’s top research institutions to conduct biomedical research. As of the time of writing this article, the bioplotter is cited in a total of 178 research papers. The company also produce some of the leading technology for 3D dentistry, custom hearing aids and medical devices. However, with an increasing number of more affordable options in the market 2017 may be a challenging year for the company.

For 3D bioprinters, we’re eager to see whether Sweden-based CELLINK will be previewing their upcoming BIO X 3D bioprinter at the show. South Korea’s ROKIT will also be exhibiting their Invivo 3D bioprinter, as seen at London’s Digical show in 2016.

3D models and services 

Oceanz are a key player in production of surgical and anatomical models exhibiting at the expo.

Preview of Oceanz anatomical models at 3D Medical Expo 2017. Photo via: Oceanz3Dprint on Twitter
Preview of Oceanz anatomical models at 3D Medical Expo 2017. Photo via: Oceanz3Dprint on Twitter

Also providing specific 3D printing medical services are: WiDE 3D scanning and 3D printing hub; eCapture 3D modeling and mobile 3D scanning equipment; SLM Solutions from Northern Germany; Optics11 for optical fibre sensing technology; and 3DMedNet – an online network for researchers and experts.

Netherlands local services include: the 3D Printing Maastricht project; Dental Printing Services; Vosfox Medical who provide a dedicated cleanroom service for biological research,

And finally, not forgetting 3D4makers who are specialist filament makers, with a  range of materials including medical-grade PEEK.

You can follow our live progress at the 3D Medical Expo on Twitter @3Dprintindustry, any 3D Printing Industry readers present at the conferences can also tweet me (Beau) direct @beauhannapianna – would love to have a chat!

Nominations for the first 3D Printing Industry Awards are also now open. Make sure the best of 3D medical gets a reflection in the shortlist.

Featured image shows Maastricht’s main railway station. Photo by Beau Jackson