A Technical Review of Additive Manufacturing in Orthopedics

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Additive Manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, has been used in Orthopedics for many years, from companies such as Pipeline Orthopedics (now part of Stryker) to Exactech, among many others.  The technology has been more widely used outside the US by companies like Adler Ortho and Lima (Lima reports that they have implanted over 100,000 3D-printed acetabular cups to date).  In fact, AM has been in use by many companies for well over 10 years now, to produce products ranging from custom and standard implants to complex instrumentation.  It has been seen as a technology that was out of reach for many product companies due to cost and complexity, where only those with the deepest of pockets, and/or by happy coincidence, the right skill sets, could take full advantage.  However, with the technology and machines becoming more robust and more readily available, use of AM within Orthopaedics is steadily growing.


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