CMM Laser Scanning Improving Quality of 3D Printed Implants

For the quality assurance of 3D-printed medical implants, Baltic Orthoservice uses a Nikon Metrology LC15Dx laser scanner on an ALTERA CMM. The goal is to guarantee the absolute best quality of product for its patients and to make patient specific implants more readily available. The CMM based LC15Dx laser scanner provides accurate, fast and reliable surface and screw hole inspection and with no moving parts in the LC15Dx, the scanner isn’t vulnerable to complications resulting in expensive maintenance

Baltic Orthoservice is a medical company in Kaunas, Lithuania. In 2012, it invested in additive manufacturing technology for producing 3D-printed, patient-specific implants. However, with this powerful technology comes difficulties. To predict the quality and geometry of 3D-printed objects is rather challenging. For this, the absolute best QA equipment is required.

To supplement its additive manufacturing facilities, Baltic Orthoservice decided to invest in high-quality equipment to create a whole new Quality Control Laboratory. A metrology solution for assuring the quality of its 3D-printed patient-specific implants was required. The main needs outlined by Paulius Lukševičius – Engineer of Mechanics at Baltic Orthoservice, were as follows:

  • The capability to scan parts made from different types of materials
  • A large working area
  • Most importantly – High accuracy

With the capabilities outlined, Baltic Orthoservice looked into the metrology market, to discover what options were available. A handful of Metrology manufacturers were consulted, including Nikon Metrology. With competitors offering similar solutions, it was important to identify which best fits the requirements outlined. For the team at Baltic Orthoservice it was clear that the LC15Dx met the requirements exactly, but it wasn’t until they discovered more about the competitors’ alternative solutions that they knew for sure.

As well as the outlined requirements, longevity was also a condition Baltic Ortho service was wary of. Whilst the Nikon solution was the best system for the job, the competitor was ultimately rejected due to concerns about potential complications and expensive maintenance. With the Nikon Metrology LC15Dx, there are no moving parts inside – making it a much more reliable choice.

Capable of collecting object imaging data of up to 70,000 points per second, Nikon Metrology’s ALTERA CMM is used to determine the surface of an implant. Using enhanced sensor performance (ESP), the device overcomes the key challenge of 3D scanners by capturing reflective and multi-material surfaces.

Introducing this highly accurate, non-destructive metrology solution to the Quality Control Laboratory gives Baltic Orthoservice a better understanding of its products. “The Nikon solution offers better knowledge of what we are manufacturing . It gives better precision and understanding of the 3D-printing errors and deviations. This means we achieve the best product quality and avoid the risk of implant failure during the operation. Implants with Nikon quality assurance are more reliable and it is easier to prove their value”, states Paulius Luksevicius – Engineer of Mechanics, Baltic Orthoservice.

With a better understanding of the additive manufacturing process and ultimately its products, Baltic Orthoservice is able to confidently produce bespoke implants and improve the quality of treatment for patients.

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