Australia's 3D Medical Limited receives order for 25 3D printed jaws after successful surgery
As we continue to hear how 3D printing is helping to revolutionize the medical industry, it should come with little surprise that the small companies responsible for making these 3D printed models or devices are getting quite a few knocks on their door from other doctors or companies interested in using the technology for their own procedures.
Among other companies, Australia’s 3D Medical Limited, which created a titanium jaw for a Melbourne man in an Australian-first surgery just less than a month ago, has signed a deal to create another 25 of the 3d printed life-changing devices over the next twelve months.
The Melbourne man who received the original 3D printed jaw, Richard Stratton, was born with a rare deformity that made chewing food incredibly painful over the years. The deformity was the result of being born without a portion of bone on the left side of his jaw, which was fixed through implanting a 3D printed titanium jaw bone.
Stratton’s medical team reached out to 3D Medical Limited to produce the 3D printed titanium jaw, which has since changed Stratton’s life for the better since having the surgery to install it.
"I now have a very symmetrical smile,” said Strutton, when asked about how he feels after having the 3D printed jaw installed.
“People have been really politely saying that it's a huge improvement … I didn't notice that I didn't have a chin before, but people are now saying, 'Wow, you've got such a great chin!'"
3D Medical Limited - who listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in February of 2015 and successfully raised $4 million to further invest into research and development of 3D printed medical prosthesis - said that the deal was with a leading health industry specialist in prosthetic treatments for jaw disorders. Due to a confidentiality agreement, 3D Medical Limited’s chairman Nigel Finch was unable to disclose the name of the client nor the price paid for the 25 3D printed titanium jaw units.
“We’ve only been listed for four months and already doing this one jaw has validated out entire business model because we’ve had to deal with the health insurers, the hospitals, with the surgical teams,” says Finch.
“We gone through the end-to-end process of the production of the implant and the successful outcome and what we know is that it works on the implant side … now we’ve just taken an order for 25 more implants. This is what we’ll continue to see, a growth in implants.”
Needless to say, this is just the beginning of what will likely be a surge of similar orders for other 3D printed medical devices as more doctors look towards additive manufacturing technologies to lead the way into the near future of health and medicine.