Metal 3D printing innovation in large joint orthopedic implants

GE Additive’s AddWorks and Orchid sign an agreement at Rapid + TCT to drive 3D printing innovation

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Ge and Orchid Orthopedic Solutions
GE Additive’s AddWorks and Orchid Orthopedic Solutions sign EBM agreement at RAPID + TCT 2022.

At RAPID + TCT, GE Additive’s AddWorks and Orchid Orthopedic Solutions (Orchid) – the manufacturer of orthopedic implants and instruments – announced they have signed a definitive agreement to continue driving the adoption of additive manufacturing to their suite of technologies through the development of electron beam melting (EBM) solutions in the medical implants sector.

Orchid will make a significant investment to enable scalability and full production support for its customers by purchasing GE Additive’s AddWorks EBM Spectra L systems, service agreements, AP&C metal powders, and AddWorks consultancy services. Installation of the first machines will commence in 2022. Following machine installation and validation, Orchid expects to be ready for production in 2024 to meet its customers’ requirements.

GE Additive’s AddWorks and Orchid are focused on joint co-marketing activities aimed at driving further awareness of EBM technology in 3D metal printed large joint orthopedic implants.

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“We are thrilled to collaborate with GE Additive’s AddWorks to bring additive manufacturing capabilities to our customers,” said Nate Folkert, chief executive officer, Orchid. “GE Additive’s AddWorks has an excellent reputation and is a market leader in the additive space. Together with our extensive knowledge of large joint orthopedic manufacturing, we will be able to serve customers like never before. They will have the assurance that we are taking an extra level of care by partnering with GE Additive’s AddWorks. I look forward to seeing Orchid drive continued additive manufacturing innovation as a result of this Agreement,” he added.

“I am honored that Orchid has put their confidence and trust in GE’s additive expertise, at such an important juncture in their metal AM journey. I look forward to our teams building a long-term relationship over the coming years,” said Riccardo Procacci, president and chief executive officer, of GE Additive.

“I have personal experience overseeing the deployment of a large fleet of industrialized EBM machines for precise scalable AM production at GE Aviation’s Avio Aero business, so I look forward to getting to know the Orchid team and sharing some of my insights. I also continue to be amazed at how our existing medical customers and orthopedic community are using metal additives to innovate and drive better and often personalized outcomes for patients,” he added.

Manufacturing Larger Parts Competitively

Once installed and operational, Orchid’s fleet of Spectra L machines will allow it to manufacture large orthopedic implants, such as complete knee components and acetabular cups and more competitively. As devices increase in complexity, this new EBM additive manufacturing capability with scalable precision allows cost-effective manufacturing to complement conventional methods.

The Arcam EBM Spectra L allows for the mass production of parts by providing the ability to tightly stack parts without compromising on quality. The improved melt process results in consistent material properties for thin and bulky geometries. Some of the key features –

  • Enhanced part quality, with improved surface finish and improved material properties.
  • Reduced cost per part due to increased build speed, the largest EBM build volume, and the ability to tightly stack parts.
  • Integrated system architecture, with standardized IoT interface, data analytics for machine health monitoring and the new Powder Recovery Station, PRS 30.

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