VALENCIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A 3D printed surgical tool may be a medical breakthrough high-performance athletes have been waiting for. DanaMed™ Inc.’s Pathfinder™ ACL Guide is a biocompatible surgical device enabling surgeons to better reconstruct partially or fully torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) and reduce the risk of re-tearing. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, one of the largest providers of additive (3D printing) and conventional manufacturing services in North America, builds the metal tool using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS™) technology.
“Pathfinder illustrates how 3D printing is uniquely capable of enabling breakthroughs in medical technology that otherwise would not be possible,” said John Self, project engineer at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. “And by offering DanaMed 97 percent cost savings over conventional manufacturing methods, 3D printing has demonstrated its business value in bringing complex, high-quality parts to market.”
Dr. Dana Piasecki, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoCarolina Sports Medicine, in Charlotte, N.C., developed the Pathfinder System, comprised of the Pathfinder ACL Guide and Guide Pins, after experimenting with surgical techniques that would improve graft positioning. The key, he discovered, is using a surgical tool specially shaped to match the anatomy of the knee. After refining the design using Fused Deposition Modeling™ (FDM®), Dr. Piasecki and DanaMed Inc. needed a manufacturing process that could efficiently produce the complex surgical instrument at an affordable price and provide the freedom necessary to make design changes on the fly. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing met these requirements by using DMLS.
The Pathfinders are printed with Inconel 718 material, which achieve the necessary biocompatibility, surface finish, oil resistance and mechanical requirements. After extensive testing, the Pathfinder System was registered with the FDA as a Class 1 Medical Device. Pathfinders are now on the market and being used by orthopedic surgeons across the country.
With a 95 percent success rate of anchoring grafts in their native ACL locations, DanaMed’s Pathfinder System is a potential game-changer for ACL repair surgeries. Anchoring grafts in this way allows repaired ACLs to handle the same stress as a natural ACL once could. Other methods are more difficult to perform and can increase both the potential for surgical complications and risk of reinjuring the knee.
Like DanaMed, more and more companies are manufacturing metal parts via 3D printing. In fact, a recent survey sponsored by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, “3D Printing’s Imminent Impact on Manufacturing,” found additive metal usage in the U.S. is expected to nearly double over the next three years. To meet the mounting market demand for metals, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has nearly tripled its additive metals capacity over the past 18 months.
To read more about DanaMed’s use of 3D printing, visit www.stratasysdirect.com/case-studies/dmls-surgical-guide/. To learn more about Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s metal capabilities, go to www.stratasysdirect.com/solutions/direct-metal-laser-sintering/.
Stratasys Direct Inc. is an indirect subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd., the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is one of the world’s largest providers of advanced manufacturing services that combines the latest technologies and decades of experience from three industry-leading pioneers—Solid Concepts, Harvest Technologies and RedEye. With a broad range of additive and conventional manufacturing services, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing assists companies at all stages of product development to bring better products to the market faster. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has more than 600 employees across seven manufacturing facilities in the United States. Online at: www.stratasysdirect.com.
For more than 25 years, Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) has been a defining force and dominant player in 3D printing and additive manufacturing - shaping the way things are made. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel, the company empowers customers across a broad range of vertical markets by enabling new paradigms for design and manufacturing. The company's solutions provide customers with unmatched design freedom and manufacturing flexibility - reducing time-to-market and lowering development costs, while improving designs and communications. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape and the Stratasys ecosystem includes 3D printers producing prototypes and parts; a wide range of 3D printing materials; parts on-demand via Stratasys Direct Manufacturing; strategic consulting and professional services; and Thingiverse/GrabCAD communities with 5+ million free design components, printable files. With 3,000 employees and 800 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents, Stratasys has received more than 30 technology and leadership awards. Visit us online at: www.stratasys.com or http://blog.stratasys.com.
Stratasys is a registered trademark of Stratasys Ltd. and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates. DMLS is a trademark of EOS GmbH.