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Using General Electric’s Additive Concept Laser Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) technology, medical device developer Endocon GmbH has developed a 3D-printed surgical tool to improve and simplify the removal of hip implants.
Post-processed and 3D-printed parts of the endoCupcut device still attached to the build plate. Courtesy of GE Additive.
The implantation of acetabular cups is a relatively routine hip replacement operation. Their removal, however, is a much more complicated process. Typically, surgeons use a chisel to dislodge the implanted cup, presenting risks to a patient’s bone and soft tissue. Endocon’s endoCupcut product was created as an alternative cup removal tool.
In terms of biocompatibility, the 3D-printed blades led to a more consistent outcome of hip cup replacement, and the rejection rate was reduced from 30 percent to less than 3 percent.
With the optional use of 15 additively manufactured stainless steel blades, the technology is available in various sizes ranging from 44 to 72 mm, providing more precise cutting along the edge of an acetabular cup for loosening and extraction.
17-4 PH stainless steel powder was used as the material to make blades for the endoCupcut device. Depending on their size and orientation, between two and six blades can be 3D printed at any time on the Mlab cusing 100R, on a build plate of 90 × 90 mm. Including data preparation, 3D printing, high-quality surface finishing, hardening, and bead blasting, it takes approximately three weeks to deliver a complete set of endoCupcut blades.READ MORE