Facilitated by the Instrument Technology Research Center (ITRC) of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), the ThinTech Materials Technology Company (TTMC) has conducted a series of certified biosafety tests and become the first Taiwanese manufacturer to pass preclinical animal trials for biomedical grade 3D printing metal powder. With the 3D printing equipment developed by Tongtai Machine & Tool Company, TTMC has printed metal medical products which have passed ISO 10993 biocompatibility testing. This innovative 3D-printed artificial bone material has already received attention from several established metal 3D printing companies including Renishaw, 3D Systems, and EOS which are seeking to access TTMC's metal powder so that they will be able to create medical grade products and expand services and business.
3D-printed acetabular cups and knee joint.
To strengthen the competitive advantage of Taiwan's industry in biomedical grade 3D printing manufacturing, "NARLabs Medical Instrument Value Creation Alliance" actively expands the industry value through chain integration, in which Tongtai Machine & Tool and TTMC are key strategic partners. Further, NARLabs, Tongtai Machine & Tool, China Steel Corporation, and TTMC have launched a 3D printing Joint Laboratory in Hsinchu Biomedical Park to develop medical material and manufacturing equipment domestically.
The biomedical grade 3D printing material is composed of high-quality titanium and has been extensively tested to meet biomedical material requirements. The process of creating a new 3D-printed artificial bone material has relied on industry partners involved in NARLabs Medical Instrument Value Creation Alliance. For example, the implant material is made from raw material supplied by China Steel Corporation, and the raw material is subsequently ground into biomedical grade 3D printing metal powder by TTMC. Once the 3D-printed material has been prepared, United Orthopedic Corporation is responsible for creating an implant or prosthesis design to be sent to the Tongtai Group for 3D printing.
Equipped with laboratories for biological materials, electrical safety, biomedical circuits and systems, and 3D printing, NARLabs Medical Instrument Value Creation Alliance provides R&D services in the field of high-end medical materials and comprehensive solutions for technical, validation, regulatory, and clinical requirements. The alliance aims to construct a strong innovation ecosystem to promote the commercialization of medical materials, and to build links to international partners that Taiwan's industry in medical material manufacturing will be able to take advantage of new opportunities on the global markets.