The University has installed the systems in its School of Materials and Metallurgy as part of a healthcare partnership that aims to speed up time to market for medical devices and improve the options available to patients.
The new facility aims to bring together academics from a range of disciplines to explore the full potential of additive manufacturing (AM) for medical devices.
Currently, the University of Birmingham is working with coatings company Accentus Medical on a project that aims to reduce the chance of infections for patients with cranial plates. The two groups are looking at applying technology to the surface of customised metal AM cranial plates to reduce the chance of infections in order to improve the quality of a patient’s life.
Dr Sophie Cox, lecturer in Healthcare Technologies, Healthcare Technologies Institute at the University of Birmingham, said: “Additive manufacturing increases the design freedom for medical devices. Using the technology, we have flexibility in implant geometry and material choice. The installation of the RenAM 500M systems will create a new centre for custom medical devices at the University of Birmingham.
“We chose Renishaw because of its experience as a custom medical device manufacturer,” added Cox. “Renishaw has a wealth of expertise in taking medical devices to market. As a university, we are working towards ISO 13485, something Renishaw has already achieved. This partnership is just the beginning of a pipeline of activities, where we will align our research capabilities with Renishaw’s know-how to realise the benefits of additive manufacturing for patients.”
Bryan Austin, director and general manager of Medical and Dental Products at Renishaw, said: “This is a really enthusing project and we are excited about the future of the industry. Through its work with the Birmingham Health Partnership, the University has access to clinical input from local hospitals. By collaborating with industrial, academic and clinical partners, it is possible to produce medical devices more quickly and at a lower cost, which will benefit patients receiving the implants.”