Complex geometries are three-dimensional structures that often feature undercuts or hollow spaces. These can be organic structures, for example. Many complex geometries can only be produced with limited success using conventional technologies like milling, turning or casting, or may involve excessive costs.
This is where the benefits of Additive Manufacturing (AM) become evident: Every possible form that can be constructed with a 3D CAD program can also be produced using innovative laser sintering technology. There are no restrictions, not even when it comes to the production of hollow structures. This is possible because material is only applied at the points where this is intended.
AM guarantees developers the greatest possible construction freedom. The overall size of the external geometry of a component is almost the only factor of relevance to cost. On the other hand its complexity is of almost no relevance to production costs. It is often actually possible to reduce costs because less material is consumed. The complexity of a component no longer needs to be dictated by the manufacturing process, but rather by the required function and the product design. In general: The more complex the geometry of a component, the more worthwhile AM can be.
One application in the medical sector is the production of an artificial acetabular cup which is stable and, thanks to the complex surface structure, promotes osseointegration, in other words the knitting together of the bone tissue and the surface of the bone implant. The acetabular cup is designed with the help of the specialist WITHIN software. With the help of AM technology from EOS, the component can then be constructed from titanium according to the needs of each individual patient. The highly complex surface structure would be almost impossible to produce using conventional manufacturing methods.
The results speak for themselves: The acetabular cup consists of fixed sections that ensure optimum stability, as well as intentionally porous elements for improved osseointegration. Both sections are produced in a single production step. Many pores of different sizes help to anchor the implant: Larger pores are advantageous for transferring pressure, while smaller pores help with initial fixing. Another special feature of AM: structure, surface roughness and pore size can be set individually for each patient.
Economic production of patient specific restorations made of a high-performance alloy.
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