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Albright Technologies Launches Design for Manufacturability Service

Press Release - Albright Technologies


Leominster, MA - November 16th, 2015: Albright Technologies, Inc., the world’s leader in silicone prototyping and production molding, is pleased to introduce its design for manufacturability service to ensure that its customers’ part designs will be manufacturable throughout the product lifecycle. “Our latest service helps us provide better early stage feedback to companies trying to build successful devices quickly and efficiently while addressing many of the complications often encountered at scale up,” said Matt Bont, Director of Operations at Albright Technologies. Full Article

Flexible Flow at ConMed Orthopedics

Edited by Senior Editor Michael Anderson from information provided by Mazak


Constant innovation is the life force behind business success at ConMed Orthopedics in Largo, FL. The company specializes in medical devices for orthopedic, arthroscopic and laparoscopic surgery. ConMed Largo currently manufactures about 4300 different part catalog numbers and introduces many innovative new products per year. Competition is tough, and ConMed must continuously boost efficiency and shorten product development lead times to get its innovations to market as quickly as possible. Full Article

EDM’s Home Field Advantage

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


It used to be that EDM, or electrical discharge machining, was known more for making things that are used to make things, such as molds and dies. Increasingly, EDM is being used to produce final parts. The highly automated process—where electrical discharge sparks are used to cut and shape parts—is viewed as dependable, able to produce quality parts time after time. “A correctly equipped EDM machine has the ability to not only do several EDM processes without operator intervention,” said Bob Ianitelli, president and chief operating officer of Madison Heights, MI-based Belmont Equipment & Technologies. Full Article

A Real-World ‘Invisibility Cloak’? Research Teams See Progress

Edited By Senior Editor Michael Anderson


For decades—since the first season of the original Star Trek series, at least—the world has wondered if something like a “cloaking device” to create functional invisibility would ever be feasible. Now, after a long wait, real progress was reported from two separate sources within a week of each other. Full Article

A Master of Innovation, Precision and Disruption

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


Al Siblani is building a modern manufacturing empire, one 3D printer at a time. His company EnvisionTEC, founded in 2002, sells printers that use unique patented methods of building objects, even complex pieces with fine detail, from digital design files. The company’s seven families of printers, which create objects in plastics, fiber-reinforced composite polymers or biologic materials, have infiltrated, and seriously disrupted, a wide range of industries. Six out of ten hearing aids, for example, are now made on Siblani’s printers. Full Article

Plastic Injection Molder Turns to Gun Making

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz from information provided by Doosan Infracore Machine Tools


In 2006, Jim Pontillo, founder of TRA Medical Inc. (Placentia, CA), saw two distinct trends: his medical mold-making workload was diminishing and demand for guns and gun components was rising. Sizing up TRA Medical’s core competencies, Pontillo saw an opportunity for growth in the development and production of 9-mm handguns. Today, these guns are branded and sold under their own brand FMK Firearms, which is a stand-alone business. Full Article

Panel: Industry, Regulatory Barriers May Hold Back Medical 3D Printing

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


Industry and regulatory inertia may hold back widespread adoption of medical 3D printing, panel members at the Rapid Canada conference said today. Full Article

How Medtronic in Mexico Ran (Nitinol) Rings around Competitors

Senior Editor Michael Anderson


In his WESTEC Keynote, Medtronic VP Mexico Operations Gerardo de la Concha described how a uniquely empowered task force was able to develop an endovascular Nitinol ring at a fraction of the old cost. Full Article

Michelin Group and Fives Join Forces To Become a Major Metal 3D Printing Player



Michelin and Fives today announced the creation of a joint venture aimed at developing and marketing industrial machines and production shops on a global scale via metal additive manufacturing technology commonly known as metal 3D printing. Full Article

Autodesk Within Medical Transforms What's Possible for 3D-Printed Orthopedic Implants



Autodesk Within Medical, generative design software that optimizes 3D printing of medical implants for the orthopedic industry, was unveiled today. The software allows biomedical engineers to create orthopedic implants with micro-lattice porous structures that help properly connect the implants to living bone (osseointegration), and promote development of blood vessels in the surrounding tissue (vascularization) to facilitate healing. Full Article

Fast, Consistent, Critical

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


Automation is considered a pillar of success at EVCO Plastics, a custom injection molder of thermoplastic resins based in DeForest, WI. More than 104 robots in all reside in the company’s nine production facilities—three in DeForest, one in Oshkosh, WI, another in Calhoun, GA, as well as three in Mexico and one in China. Bernie Degenhardt, the corporate automation manager, has worked at EVCO since 1987, and oversees automation teams in each production facility. Full Article

3D Printing Orthotic and Prosthetic Devices

Arif Sirinterlikci and Isaac Swink, Department of Engineering, Robert Morris University


3D printing has become the medium of the new technological revolution as its applications diversify from printing food to weapons, from clothing to industrial products. It is also finding more uses in the medical space, including Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P). According to Constantinos Mavroidis, director of the Biomedical Mechatronics Laboratory at Northeastern University (Boston), for 3D printing to be used on a greater scale in O&P, development and manufacturing times and their associated costs need to be reduced. Full Article

3D Printing Adds the Fourth Dimension (Time)

Lauralyn McDaniel, SME Industry Manager, Medical Manager: Innovation Watch, SME Technology Interchange, Medical Manufacturing Innovations


Designing and printing a device to change over time—4D printing—helped the University of Michigan’s CS Mott Children’s Hospital save three very young lives. Born with tracheobronchimalacia (TBM), which causes the windpipe to collapse and prevent breathing, all three faced what could have been a short, difficult life. Using a combination of medical and engineering skills, the Michigan team built a splint that would hold the airway open, prevent outside compression of the airway, and bend and change as the child grew. Full Article

Materialise Believes X-rays Mark the Spot When it Comes to Improving Knee Replacement Guides

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


Materialise (Leuven, Belgium) is out to democratize the patient-specific 3D printed guides that orthopedic surgeons use in the operating room when doing knee replacements. Currently, the only patients who can get a guide are those who’ve had a CT or MRI scan of their arthritic knee. That’s because the US Food and Drug Administration only allows use of those imaging technologies as the basis for making the patient-specific guides. Full Article

John Abele, Co-Founder of Boston Scientific, Honored for Lifetime Achievement

Press Release - UBM Canon


John Abele, will receive the Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award during its annual ceremony on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at the MD&M East event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, 4 p.m. in Room 1E15 – 17. Abele founded Boston Scientific Corporation, a medical device company, with his partner Peter Nicholas, in 1979. Full Article

Laser Marking in Medical: The Dark Arts of Dark Marks

Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


There’s been strong motivation for medical device manufacturers to embrace laser marking in recent years. First, of course, there is the FDA, which has been phasing in regulations for medical devices to have a unique device identifier—a UDI—that is permanent and can be read by machine as well as the human eye. But mature marking technologies are also growing more affordable, even as laser machine builders find creative ways to further develop the process and make their brands stand out. Full Article

How to Succeed in Medical Machining

Iulian Trifan FANUC America


There are opportunities for contract manufacturing companies to become a bigger partner to the OEMs by providing competitive pricing for surgical instruments, spinal/trauma implants and orthopedic devices. Reliability and highly efficient machining processes for high-performance machining are paramount to achieving the lowest total cost of ownership and thereby success in machining these medical devices. Full Article

Small Improvements in Medical

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


Medical device maker Donna Bibber put a client’s invention—a one-dose powder medication inhaler—on her web site hoping it might attract a pharmaceutical company interested in acquiring it. After all, she said, her takeaway from a recent pharmaceutical show is that drug manufacturers are trying to eke out more revenue from medications with expiring patents by reintroducing them in new delivery systems.

Full Article

Workforce Pipeline: Colliding Worlds: Engineering Meets Biology

Lauralyn McDaniel, Industry Manager - Medical, SME


Medical manufacturing has been a leader in using additive manufacturing(AM)/3D printing for end-use applications for at least 15 years. The combination of 3D scanning of a patient with the ability to print from that scan has made AM a natural fit for things like prosthetics, dental implants, and hearing aid cases. Today, the technology is expanding into new areas including printing implantable devices, bone and tissue scaffolds, and even printing of tissues. Full Article

Measurable Improvements in Medical Metrology

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


Last year, metrology machinery makers must have been thinking about Galileo’s advice to “make measurable what is not so.” Hexagon Metrology, Mitutoyo and Optical Gaging Products introduced new or updated software. Mitutoyo and OGP also brought out new telecentric technology, while Leica Microsystems offered a two-fer: a machine that combines confocal microscopy with interferometry. And Zeiss Industrial Metrology introduced a redesigned CMM line that promises to use 60% less compressed air. Full Article

In Medical, Shrinking Devices Grow Supplier Opportunities

Jack Burley VP, Sales & Engineering BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc.


The Affordable Care Act has fueled a national discussion that’s filled airwaves and papers. Less talked about but just as deserving of attention are developments on the practical front of the medical industry. Unprecedented breakthroughs in understanding of anatomy, afflictions and treatments that once confounded us are driving the development of less and less invasive procedures. By nature, the tools used to perform these emerging procedures and deliver treatment are smaller and more precise. Full Article

Bio Printing Expert Warns Against ‘Hype’

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


An expert on bio printing urged caution against “hype.” Full Article

3D Bioprinting Goes Commercial

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


They’re not yet on the shelves at Costco, but you can order one on the Internet. Yes, 3D bioprinters and their collateral materials, most familiar in the setting of backpacks and study halls, are moving to the realm of navy pinstripe suits and corporate lawyers scrutinizing collaboration agreements. As 3D bioprinting moves into the commercial space, no less than five companies are marketing printers and biomaterials, one each in Japan, Switzerland (regenHU) and Wales, and two in the United States. Full Article

Out of the Lab, Into the Industry: Microlution Finds a (Very) Small Niche

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


A little more than 10 years ago, Microlution’s founders were graduate engineering students at IMTS 2004, and facing an endless stream of visitors curious about the prototype micro-machining center they brought to demonstrate. “We had many companies come by and ask if they could buy one,” said Andy Phillip about the machine he helped build in a lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with classmate Andrew Honegger. Full Article

Medical Manufacturing Research Highlights

Ellen J. Kehoe Senior Editor, Journals & Tech Papers


As extraordinary breakthroughs in medical, dental and surgical materials and devices go steadily mainstream, doctors and hospitals are no longer “just practicing” but are high-tech masters of what researchers’ minds envision. Full Article

Smooth, Fast and Friendly Controls for Productivity

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


Machine control providers continue to offer increasingly innovative and intuitive programming solutions for machinists who are demanding more from their CNCs. The latest machine controls come with special features to complement hardware advances and help machinists program the most complex parts with increasing ease and guidance. Many of the latest machine controls, for example, feature embedded intelligence with software algorithms that can automatically select the optimal machining method for a given part.  Full Article

What's Needed to Achieve Scalable Production of Tissues

Lauralyn McDaniel, Industry Manager, Medical, Manager, Innovation Watch, Medical Manufacturing Innovations Series, SME


Producing or growing tissues that could avoid the immune response of donor tissues sounds far –fetched, but in some limited applications has already been achieved. Tissues for drug development testing are already available. Replacement skin is expected to be available within 3 years and to take off quickly. While much progress has been made, there is still much to be done to achieve a scalable production process. The good news is there are two very distinct groups working from very different perspectives.  Full Article

Trends & Themes in the Medical Device Market

Bryan Hughes, Brian Gorski, and Mike Brooks, P & M Corporate Finance LLC


The medical device market has expanded in recent years, driven by longer life expectancy, novel technologies and increased expenditure on healthcare, especially in emerging economies. At the same time, the regulatory environment in North America and Europe has driven a shift to value-based healthcare solutions, which in turn has resulted in increased competition, changing business models, and innovative strategies to achieve sustainable growth in this dynamic market. Full Article

Industry Trends: Medical Instrument and Supply

Jocelyn Phillips , Analyst, IBISWorld


The Medical Instrument and Supply manufacturing industry primarily researches, develops and produces nonelectronic medical, surgical, dental and veterinary instruments and apparatus, such as syringes, anesthesia apparatus, blood transfusion equipment, catheters, surgical clamps and medical thermometers. In the United States, this industry is mature and resilient. Full Article

Delicate Supports, Database Software Improve 3D Printing

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


Software engineers are toiling away on applications updates for 3D printing to make work easier for their medical manufacturing counterparts, and have come up with some novel solutions that also save them time and money. “At Formlabs, we’re obsessed with providing the best user experience possible, and we’re always experimenting with new ways to make our products better,” says Maxim Lobovsky, co-founder of Formlabs, which hacked an idea from truss bridges and trees to make 3D printing faster and more efficient. Full Article

Fabricating Success at Clinton Industries

Edited by Senior Editor Michael Anderson


With rising material costs, government regulations, and customers resisting price increases, today there is no room for waste in the metal fabrication supply chain. Here's how one medical OEM partnered with a custom metal fabricator to improve efficiencies.
Full Article

Welding Aids Freezing for Zeltiq

Edited by Senior Editor Michael Anderson


When the medical device manufacturer Zeltiq had trouble producing its revolutionary new fat-freezing product for the “CoolSculpting” process, they brought it to Electron Beam Engineering Inc. (EBE), for a simplified design and an improved welding process. Full Article

3D Systems Introduces Two Medical Training Modules

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


3D Systems said it’s introducing two new training modules for the company’s Simbionix Arthro Mentor training simulator. The Rock Hill, SC-based company said in a statement it’s coming out with a hip diagnostics module and a knee module. The 3D virtual reality training models are intended to improve surgical preparedness and planning for complex orthopedic procedures. Full Article

What’s Next in Grinding?

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


Many precision grinding machines on the market already offer their users near-perfect tolerances, leaving one to wonder: What’s next in grinding? But tool builders still have plenty of room to add valuable new improvements, machine shop owners say. Full Article

Small Improvements in Medical

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


Medical device maker Donna Bibber put a client’s invention—a one-dose powder medication inhaler—on her web site hoping it might attract a pharmaceutical company interested in acquiring it.After all, she said, her takeaway from a recent pharmaceutical show is that drug manufacturers are trying to eke out more revenue from medications with expiring patents by reintroducing them in new delivery systems. Full Article

Bioprinting: 3D Printing Comes to Life

Anthony Atala and James Yoo, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine


3D printing is driving innovation in many areas, from engineering and manufacturing to art and education. The technology is also being broadly applied in medicine—from printing prosthetic limbs to making patient-specific models of body parts that surgeons use as guides during reconstructive surgery. Full Article

Part Inspection Speeds Up at Triangle Manufacturing

Ken Gredick, Engineering Manager, Triangle Manufacturing Co.


Triangle Manufacturing Co. was established in 1955 by William F. Strohmeyer and two other enterprising engineers in a suburban New Jersey garage. It’s grown steadily over three generations to become a leading provider of highly complex, tight tolerance surgical implants, medical instruments and powered hand tools. Full Article

Emuge Introduces Comprehensive Tooling Program for Threading Demanding Titanium Alloys

Press Release - Emuge Corp.


Today, Emuge Corp. ( announced they are introducing a comprehensive line of high-performance tools for threading demanding alloyed Titanium materials. Ranging from taps with unique new geometry designs to solid carbide thread mills, the new program provides solutions for the most demanding titanium challenges such as in Aerospace, Defense and Medical machining applications. Full Article

Rising Sons at Micro Mold and Plastikos

Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


The Erie, Pennsylvania companies Micro Mold and Plastikos make highly engineered precision parts for an ever more demanding client base in the medical and other industries. Both companies also have reputations as great places to work. The companies’ success is directly related to the culture of each workplace, according to their CEOs—who are themselves directly related. Full Article

Workaday Metrology

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


The trend to place more accurate metrology devices on the shop floor continues. One reason is the evolution of the metrology devices themselves. They are getting faster, more rugged, and smaller. Matching the means is motivation. Manufacturers want to understand quickly what is happening in production, rather than wait for results of parts transported to a quality lab. Full Article

Enabling Long-Winded Speech

Edited by Senior Editor Michael Anderson from information provided by Morgan Advanced Materials


New speech valve implant with high-purity zirconia lasts eight times longer than traditional silicon. Here's how it was made. Morgan Advanced Materials worked with the University of Hull (Hull, UK) to develop a new valve used to restore vocal function for patients with throat cancer. The new tracheo-oesophageal fistula speech valve uses Zyranox biocompatible yttria partially-stabilized zirconia, specifically developed for surgical implant devices. Full Article

Medical Manufacturing Without the Manual

Edited by Senior Editor Michael Anderson from information provided by Mazak


Lowell Inc., a medical contract manufacturer in Minneapolis, sometimes ignores part machining cycle times, and instead focuses its attention on overall throughput speed. In its current state, the shop could immediately reduce several of its machining cycle times by half, but doing so would add significant amounts of manual processing to the equation. Full Article

Injecting Quality at MGS Ireland

Edited by Senior Editor Michael Anderson from information provided by Hexagon Metrology


Liffey Park Technology Campus in Leixlip, County Kildare, stands less than one mile away from the original (circa 1759) brewing location for the most famous of Irish exports—Guinness beer. Over 250 years later, the site is now home to several hi-tech companies, including the Ireland Headquarters of Hewlett-Packard (HP). Full Article

Partmaking for People

Teun van Asten, Engineer Marketing Services, Solid Milling, Seco Tools


The manufacturing of medical components must meet standards of accuracy, reliability, quality, and traceability that equal and sometimes exceed those required for aerospace and nuclear parts. In addition, global competition and efforts to restrain health care expense create great pressure to maximize productivity and reduce manufacturing costs. Full Article

3D Printing Used to Make Prototype Artificial Hand

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


YouBionic, an Italian startup company, has turned to 3D printing as part of its efforts to develop a lower-cost artificial hand.Companies have sought to produce prosthetic hands that look and operate like the real thing. The goal is something like Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand depicted at the end of the Star Wars movie The Empire Strike Back. Full Article

R&J Manufacturing: Small, but Sophisticated

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


R&J Manufacturing, a small and thriving machine shop in the Greater Los Angeles area, was founded by Mike Jones and John Woloshun about eight years ago, somewhat by happenstance. Co-founder Mike Jones, who had worked for years in machining, was a gun enthusiast who liked to shoot air guns as a hobby, the kind of guns that usually sell for under $100 with major retailers and are made of plastic and metal. Full Article

Medical Mold Masters

Edited by Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


When entering the lobby of Custom Mold & Design (CMD; Minneapolis, MN), the impressive display of precision injection-molded components is definitely eye-catching. A plaque that hangs nearby is also hard to miss. It reads, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of cheap price has been forgotten.” Full Article

CAD/CAM: A Peek at What's Nexxt

Edited by Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


Andy Elsbury, president of surgical-implant manufacturer Nexxt Spine (Noblesville, IN), recently received an urgent call from a surgeon with whom his company had never done business. It was a Thursday, and the surgeon was scheduled to perform a very difficult operation that would require a unique flat PEEK cervical spacer implant designed for a particular patient’s unusual cervical anatomy. Full Article

The Grind at Exactech

Edited by Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


Exactech Inc. continuously develops and produces some of the industry’s highest quality orthopedic implants that help ensure both patients and surgeons, according to the company’s business philosophy, have a “great day in the OR [operating room].” Full Article

EDM in Medical Manufacturing

Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff


“You guys are crazy!” That’s what Makino EDM product line manager Brian Pfluger was told—loudly—by a medical-industry customer after Pfluger recommended he use coated wire to make a custom housing for cancer treatment machines. Coated wire costs twice as much as uncoated, standard brass wire, so its use in the client’s application would increase manufacturing costs by about $100.
Full Article

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