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AdvancedTek Part of the Week – 11/14/16

November 14, 2016 News

No ears, guns or cars – just real parts and real applications.

Today’s part of the week highlights a fast growing Minnesota medical device manufacturer called Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. CSI is focused on creating innovative and minimally invasive coronary and peripheral orbital atherectomy solutions that help remove calcium from the vascular system. Their unique patented technology offers a lower profile in order to give physicians more access sites than other devices. Ultimately, this allows them to serve a broader range of patients with reduced risk and improved patient outcomes. You can see a video overview of their technology in the link below:

In order to develop, test, and sell products as quickly as possible in such a highly regulatory environment, CSI has invested in direct access to a blend of our professional FDM and PolyJet technologies to serve different needs in device design, functional testing, simulation models, training models, sales tools as well as manufacturing and lab tooling. They are currently using or evaluating all applications in the medical value chain for 3D Printing. Interestingly, the Value Engineering team at CSI, who is specifically tasked to find ways to reduce cost in their processes, has identified the investment in direct access to the Stratasys systems as a key aspect in their ability to keep development cost as low as possible.


The example part in the picture is a hybrid simulation model that combines traditional model making techniques with 3D printed components to create patient or anatomy specific situations for training purposes. 3D printed FDM and PolyJet parts are used in the creation of the “plumbing” of the simulator as well as specific 3D printed pathology that mimics the calcium deposits that their device is designed to remove or ablate. The simulator offers a way to increase testing scenarios as 3D printed models are more affordable and more accessible than cadavers and often more realistic to human anatomy than animal studies. 3D printing anatomical features also offers a more repeatable method for testing and training. This helps to eliminate variables from testing and ensures that all trainees are given the same training scenarios. In addition, 3D printing allows them to test patient specific anatomy or pathology that helps to train for challenging procedures or even post-procedure review for those that offered unique challenges ore less desired outcomes. The models help CSI to respond quickly to develop the tools that help reduce cost, improve the patient/physician experience and improve patient outcomes.

In addition, CSI is able to take some of the key features and use cases from the simulation models to develop simple, yet highly complex training tool kits for sales and marketing. The parts in the photos below are examples of the progression of a 3D printed part that goes into a sales training kit. CSI has printed hundreds of these kits to help demonstrate and market their innovative products around the world. The parts are printed using ABS-M30 paired with SR-30 soluble supports. Additive technology paired with soluble supports allowed them to produce a representation of complex anatomy in a simple model that was not easily manufacture-able using traditional tooling. 3D printing offered a means to produce these parts without the need for tooling and without traditional design for manufacture-ability constraints.

Would you like to learn more about how 3D printing is being used in all aspects of Healthcare? Please consider joining AdvancedTek as we host Dr. Scott Rader, Founder and GM of Stratasys’ Medical Solutions Group, around a discussion about the most recent advancements in medical applications for 3D printing. Please see the link below for additional details and registration:

AdvancedTek Medical Solutions Seminar, Monday Nov 21st in St Paul, MN

Posted by Heather Adams