Sheet Metal Fabrication is Crucial to Medical Innovation
Metal fabrication is critical to medical device innovation from simple tools like scalpels to MRI machines. With an ever evolving understanding of the human body, we turn to sheet metal fabrication to design prototypes and produce devices that save and improve lives.
Sheet Metal Fabrication and Medical Innovation
The Gentle Wave System
Root canals are expensive, painful and inconvenient procedures nobody wants to experience. The first root canal was performed in 1766 by Robert Woofendale who treated diseased teeth by destroying the infected pulp by cauterization, or burning the pulp to close off the tooth from infection. Over 300+ years, advancements in root canal procedures have introduced new methods and equipment to reduce infections common in oral health.
Sonendo produced one of the top 18 medical innovations in 2021 called the Gentle Wave System. With this device, endodontists can reduce cross contamination and recovery time through fluid de-gassing and sound waves. Metal and metal fabrication are vital components of the Gentle Wave System.
3D technology involves creating three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file by adding layers of material on top of one another. This process enables medical experts to prototype innovations quickly and [more] affordably.
Not only are 3D printers made with sheet metal, but they can also produce metal devices. Two examples include:
Powder Bed Infusion:
A high-power laser (in DMLS/SLM) or an electron beam (in EBM) is used to selectively bond metal powder particles together, layer-by-layer forming the metal part.
Metal powder particles are bound together with an adhesive layer-by-layer, forming a part that must be thermally post-processed to remove the binder and create a fully-metal part.
While 3D printers are not expected to replace traditional fabrication processes, they do offer benefits in the world of medical innovation.
The history of mechanical ventilation begins with various versions of what was eventually called the iron lung, a form of noninvasive negative-pressure ventilator widely used during the polio epidemics of the twentieth century.
Ventilators are used in hospitals during surgery or when a patient is suffering from a serious lung injury or disease and occasionally in hospice care when the patient can no longer breathe on their own. As we’re finding with baby formula and at one point hand sanitizer, shortages in the supply chain can exacerbate medical catastrophes, such as COVID-19. Ventilator shortages are evidence of manufacturing’s critical role in saving lives.
Sheet metal fabrication plays a critical role in innovating and delivering life saving medical procedures. As metal manufacturing continues to serve the medical field, it also explores new uses and possibilities within the industry to spare time, conserve resources, and promote cleaner production.For more information about Meta Fab’s full service sheet metal fabrication, contact Tony Varela at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Aimee Sukol, JD/MA/MS Ed.