3D Printed Medical Back Brace

Montreal-based medical services innovator uses 3D printing technology to develop custom form-fitted and breathable back braces to improve patient comfort and outcomes.


A medical services innovator based in Montreal, Quebec approached Tempus 3D with a back brace design that they wanted to have manufactured. After comparing 3D printing service providers, they approached Tempus 3D for a solution.

Challenge

The biggest challenge with this project was the large size of the brace. Not many industrial 3D printers are capable of manufacturing such a large piece, and when a part has large, flat areas there is a risk of the piece warping during the manufacturing process. A second consideration was to choose a medical-grade material with the strength, durability and flexibility to provide comfortable support.


Solution

The team at Tempus 3D was able to leverage HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, which provides the class-leading build volume and part quality required to successfully manufacture this design. With this printer all of the parts for the brace could all be fit into one print run, which saved manufacturing time and cost.

The greatest risk in the production of the brace was the potential for the pieces to warp, because the difference in temperatures across large, flat pieces can bend them as they cool. The team at Tempus 3D collaborated with experts at HP and Hawkridge Systems to ensure the part orientation and print settings were optimized for the best result.

The other consideration in building the brace was to select a material that was suitable for a medical device used on or near the skin. Nylon 12 was the material of choice because it has high tensile strength, is waterproof, and is certified biocompatible. It also has enough flexibility to accommodate the patient's movement without losing its support.


Result

In collaboration with their manufacturing network, the team at Tempus 3D was able to produce a brace that exceeded the client's expectations in terms of finish, color, accuracy, and cost. We at Tempus are excited to help local businesses meet their manufacturing goals as a part of the industry 4.0 network which allows innovators across sectors to bring products to market quicker and in a more environmentally friendly way.



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