• Implant with porous surface for optimized bone growth made of titanium, EOS, 3D printing, DMLS | © EOS
    Orthopedic Technology

    3D Printing for Implants and Surgical Instruments

Patient-Specific and Accurate Implants and Surgery Instruments From the 3D Printer

EOS additive manufacturing technology creates precisely fitting instruments and implants directly from CAD data.

The process manufactures implants based on anatomical data collected from the wearer and allows them to be delivered quickly. This avoids any waiting times or complications due to extended periods of inactivity, so the implants fit better. It also speeds up the healing process as a whole and has a lasting positive impact on the patient’s quality of life.


Products can be designed to reflect the diagnosis, no matter their level of complexity, they can be manufactured and delivered to the clinic in the shortest possible time. It takes about 6 weeks for conventional manufacturing, whereas with additive manufacturing, production is possible within just 10 days.


Additive manufacturing by EOS can also be used to create a wide variety of surface structures, which can simplify processes such as osseointegration, namely the growth between living bone tissue and the surface of the bone implant. The applications of 3D printed implants include spine implants, shoulder joints (glenoid replacement, hip implants) and implants for the OMF area (oral and maxillofacial surgery).

For complicated interventions, surgeons are increasingly switching to patient-specific single-use instruments. This allows the implants to be inserted more precisely, increasing the success of the operation for patients, surgeons, and hospitals. These customized instruments can also be manufactured with a 3D printer. The surgeon benefits from a high-quality and precise product that meets the strict standards associated with medical applications.

The 3D printed alternative enables greater variety (“mass customization”), and production can be performed “on demand". Compared to multiple-use instruments, hospitals save on sterilization and storage costs and benefit from higher productivity.

3D Printing in Practice Permedica: 3D Printing of an Artificial Hip Cup

Surface structure for improved osseointegration
The implant can be significantly optimized thanks to 3D printing. The hip cup consists of fixed sections to provide the necessary stability and elements with rough structures. These elements are structured directly to ensure that the implant is firmly anchored: coarse structures are advantageous in terms of pressure transmission, whereas smaller structures support the initial fixation. In this way, the complex structure simplifies osseointegration, accelerating the healing process.

Flexible production is possible

Together with the EOS Additive Minds team and the well-established EOS M 290 system for metals, Permedica succeeded in creating a completely new product. The entire implant is made in a single production step on the 3D printer and would be incredibly difficult to reproduce with conventional manufacturing methods. Thanks to the high flexibility of additive manufacturing, the surface and size of the hip cup can be specified individually for each patient.

Whitepaper: Multi-Machine Capability Study for Lattice Structures Repeatability is Key for Medical Implants

This whitepaper investigates the performance of a standardized job layout with lattice structures printed on three different EOS M 290 systems using EOS Titanium Ti64ELI. In a nutshell, the results verify that 

  • The machine to machine repeatability of capability is proven as relative density and compression strength both achieve Six Sigma confidence level
  • There is a high correlation between relative density and compression strength.
  • The testing scope and effort can be reduced due to this high correlation

Want to learn more? Get the free Whitepaper here.

Still have questions? We’d be happy to advise you about the additive manufacturing of implants

Davy Orye
Team Manager Additive Minds Consulting

3D Printing in Practice BodyCad: Surgical Guide System for Knee Operations

Together with BodyCad, EOS developed a surgical drilling template for customized knee arthroplasty. The system offers a more precise and controlled method to prepare the bone for the implant. A combination of a patient-specific implant and a surgical drilling template was developed to facilitate precise knee replacement or restoration interventions that reflect the patient’s anatomical features and musculoskeletal system.

The result was a revolutionary unicompartmental knee system (UKS) with patient-specific surgical instruments. The newly manufactured instruments, featuring custom drilling templates, guarantee higher precision at lower costs, reduced operation times and better clinical results.

Made on an FORMIGA P 110 with the material PA 2201.


Efficient: the instruments can be created quickly


Profitable: lower costs compared to conventional processes


Timely: patient-specific instruments can be delivered within 21 days

Our Additive Manufacturing Solutions for Orthopedic Technology

Additive manufacturing helps to optimize patient treatment, reduce hospital stays and alleviate side effects. With our systems, you can make individual implants and instruments from high-quality, medically compatible materials based on 3D CAD data. Whether from metal or polymer materials, our 3D printing solutions enable tool-free production of highly customized products at low unit costs within a cost-efficient framework.

We help you to implement your products

With the right 3D printing system and our comprehensive consulting and training services, our customers successfully master their entry into the manufacturing of high-precision, patient-specific implants and instruments.

Our Integrated Solution Portfolio Your Production Solution From a Single Source

We offer customer-specific 3D manufacturing solutions for the entire value chain – from conception, design and engineering to production and post-processing, right up to the finished part. Benefit from more than 30 years of experience in additive manufacturing and take advantage of our full portfolio of systems, consulting and services for the industrial 3D printing of orthopedic technology and instruments – all from a single source. Together with you and our highly effective network of partners, we can develop the solutions that you need for your own production to achieve a comprehensive portfolio of solutions.

Consulting and Training for 3D Printing Production

Want an offer or an appointment? We will be happy to advise you on the right additive manufacturing solution for your application

EOS systems are capable of manufacturing medical products. However, EOS cannot guarantee that these products will meet all requirements