Orthopedic medical devices are vital for improving the quality of life for individuals suffering from bone or joint-related injuries or conditions. These increasingly complex devices, which include artificial joints, screws, and plates, must be manufactured with extreme precision to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
To achieve an exceptionally high level of precision, we deploy a range of advanced manufacturing techniques that push every boundary to enable the production of safer, more effective devices.
Here, we profile five of these cutting-edge techniques:
- CNC machining
- Centerless grinding
- 3D printing
Continue reading to explore how these innovative manufacturing techniques are helping to change the future of orthopedic care.
CNC machining uses computer numerical control (CNC) to direct the movement of machine tools, such as lathes and mills, to shape and finish parts with high levels of accuracy and repeatability. CNC machining allows for precise control over the shape and size of the final product, making it ideal for producing complex orthopedic devices.
Electrodischarge machining (EDM) is a manufacturing process that uses electrical discharges to remove material from a workpiece, producing components with high levels of precision and accuracy. This technique is particularly beneficial for working with biomedical materials like trabecular metal (TM) for orthopedic medical devices. It precisely shapes intricate components without requiring cutting tools, especially parts with thin walls and complex designs.
There are two primary EDM processes to consider when producing orthopedic medical devices: wire EDM and ram EDM. Both use a spark erosion technique to cut material, but they operate differently. Find out more about the difference between wire and ram EDM on our blog.
As the name suggests, micromachining involves producing tiny components, often at the microscale (less than one millimeter). This manufacturing technique combines precision machining, wire EDM, Ram EDM, and Swiss screw precision machining processes to manufacture miniature components for orthopedic devices, such as those used in implants and other joint surgeries.
Centerless grinding is a cutting-edge manufacturing process using abrasive wheels to remove material from a workpiece. Centerless grinding is often used to produce cylindrical components, such as screws and pins, for use in orthopedic devices. Using sophisticated grinding techniques, such as CNC centerless grinding and hybrid CNC centerless grinding, this technique makes it possible to overcome seemingly impossible orthopedic device manufacturing challenges, including super thin wall thicknesses on tiny parts, sub-micron tolerances, and highly intricate forms.
Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a process that uses specialized printers to produce parts layer by layer using materials such as metal, plastic, or ceramic. This manufacturing technique has helped revolutionize the production of orthopedic devices, creating complex, customized components on demand. According to industry experts, advanced manufacturing techniques like 3D printing continue to drive development in the orthopedic device market forward, allowing us to produce complex shapes and geometries that would be difficult to produce using traditional manufacturing methods.
These five cutting-edge manufacturing techniques are just a few of the medtech processes responsible for elevating the level of precision in the operating room by producing safer and more effective orthopedic medical devices. As these manufacturing technologies continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more advanced orthopedic devices in the future.
Equipped with the latest ultra-precision manufacturing equipment and propelled by a team of bold-thinking industry experts, we are a values-driven company committed to staying at the forefront of medical manufacturing advancements. Explore our website for a glimpse of the ultra-precise medtech components we’ve produced, the techniques we use, and the impossible challenges we make possible.
Ready to bring your orthopedic medical device to life? Contact our team to get started.