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OPM Lands Funding for Revolutionary Orthopedic Fabrication Machine
September 14th, 2011
Robin R. Young, RRY Publications
September 14th, 2011
Oxford Performance Materials, LLC (OPM) the innovative Connecticut-based company that earlier this year made a significant bet on a revolutionary new class of medical implant fabrication equipment has announced that it received funding for this machine.
The funding was provided by the Connecticut Innovations, Inc.’s (CI) BioScience Facilities Fund. Financing is in the form of special debt instrument. The equipment is part of a multi‐million dollar project to produce medical implants through additive fabrication with the firm’s proprietary OXPEKK® products which have properties comparable to human bone. Equipment to be installed in new state‐of‐the‐art facility in South Windsor, Connecticut.
The funding helped OPM purchase an EOSINT P 800 SLS machine. The EOSINT machine is part of the revolutionary new trend in medical implant manufacturing called e-manufacturing. E-manufacturing is the system for taking any kind of digital input from any source and then sending it directly to a machine via the Internet (or Intranet). E-manufacturing effectively makes the thoughts of an inventor transparent to the fabricating machine.
For years, the electronics of e-manufacturing have been running far ahead of the fabricating machines. Up until just recently, e-manufacturing machines created prototype products from low temperature, low performance polymers. Then a German company named EOS presenting at the Euromold Plastics Convention introduced a digital laser sintering machine (like a 3D laser printer) which could melt high performance polymeric powders and fuse them into solid shapes. We’re talking melting points as high as 380°C (716°F) degrees. This was a huge innovation. With the EOS printer, e-manufacturing systems could now move to high performance, medical grade polymers like PEKK.
It took one full year to sell the first machine. That was two years ago.
With this funding OPM became the first company in orthopedics to be able to offer inventors, engineers and surgeons the benefits of such advanced e-manufacturing.
This article originally appeared on Ryortho.com.