Cellulose-based materials have received much attention due to their superior attributes and bio-friendliness in comparison to existing materials; namely thermoplastics and thermosets. Additionally, the evolution of additive manufacturing (3D printing) has gained traction in various industries by those looking to leverage the design and production capabilities made possible. The combination offers tremendous potential to those in the healthcare industry both in terms of improved patient service and cost savings opportunities. Recently, the state of Ohio awarded a collaboration of Ohio firms a project to advance the design and production of medical devices using innovative biopolymer and additive manufacturing technologies. The project is being executed in three phases: (1) qualifying three different biopolymer formulas for the 3D printing process, (2) establishing strategies and procedures to design and print medical devices using the three biopolymers, and (3) developing conceptual prototypes for “smart” devices using 3D printed biopolymers. Discussion will include the how cellulose-based biopolymers perform when 3D printed and the possibilities of smart wearable prosthetics and orthoses.
- Understand how cellulose-based biopolymers perform when 3D printed.
- Possibilities of “smart wearables” made possible with 3D printing in the O & P Industry.
- Life-line for additional details that will allow them to make smart business decisions with additive manufacturing.