Wisconsin OEM service provider Granite MEDSystems announced that they have begun offering additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping services. 3D printing will enhance their existing line of services, like high level assemblies, assembly tests, custom computer equipment design,manufacturing and equipment enclosures, and mobile transport carts.
Healthcare OEM’s tend to require extremely tight control over each component used in the manufacture of their products, to ensurethat they are complying with all applicable regulations including ISO 13485 – the international standards and requirements for the design and manufacture of all medical devices and equipment. This tends to scare a lot of OEM providers away from newer and untested manufacturing processes, in the eyes of Granite MEDSystems. So, when a company like Granite MEDSystems starts offering 3D printing services that means that they are fully aware of the many ways that 3D printing and rapid prototyping can be to used to increase quality, reduce costs and speed up manufacture time.
“For healthcare OEMs, additive manufacturing will revolutionize the design, prototyping, and manufacture of parts and assemblies,” Granite MEDSystems vice president of operations Clint Hanson said. “The time and cost savings of this technology when compared to traditional manufacturing methods can be significant.”
However beyond rapid prototyping, Granite MEDSystems will also offer small-scale manufacturing using 3D printing. For many medical products large quantities of manufactured parts are not necessary, and, when using traditional manufacturing methods, these items are expensive to produce, driving up costs all the way across the board. By 3D printing many of these ‘high-mix, low-volume” items it will save the OEM’s money, and considerable time while sourcing the parts for their products.
As the debate over medical care costs in the US continues, 3D printing is an obvious way to help reduce those costs. I’m probably being naive thinking that those cost savings may be transferred to the consumer, of course.
Source: Digital Journal