Biocompatible 3D Printing with P3 Technology

By Dennis Barnum on

When it comes to additive manufacturing, much like other methods of manufacturing, users want strength, fine details, and for production to be as fast as possible. To meet this need, Stratasys has introduced a new platform, the Origin One, which utilizes Programmable PhotoPolymerization (P3) 3D printing technology. And where the Origin One can produce strong, good-looking parts quickly, it also holds a special interest for the medical industry. Of the dozen currently certified resins for the platform, four of them are biocompatible per ISO 10993 standards and have some incredible mechanical properties in their own right. So, whether you need to make a sterilizable drill guide, long-term prosthetic, or a high-performance tool, P3 Technology offers a large range of variety and print quality for biocompatible applications.

3D Printing Solutions for  Biocompatibility

Depending on your biocompatible need and application, there are different additive manufacturing technologies that are a better fit than others. It is for this reason the Stratasys offers different biocompatible materials on three different 3D printing platforms. Below is a breakout of the different technologies and their suggested applications, though they are not limited to these.

  • FDM Technology: for larger, more robust parts
    • Ultem 1010
    • ABS-M30i
    • PC-ISO
  • PolyJet Technology: for smaller, hyper-realistic models
    • VeroContactClear
    • MED610
    • MED625
    • Biocompatible Digital ABS
  • P3 Technology: for injection-molded quality in performance grade resins
    • Loctite MED 412
    • Loctite MED 413
    • Loctite 3843
    • BASF UltraCur3D ST45

Each of these technology platforms offers different material options and the ability to create biocompatible prototypes, jigs and fixtures, prosthetics and more.

>> See details for FDM and PolyJet Biocompatible solutions in this article

P3 Technology and the Stratasys Origin One

The P3 process falls within the vat photopolymerization category. If you’re familiar with Stereolithography (SLA) or Digital Light Processing (DLP) printers, many of the same design principles will apply to this process as well. It is this technology that allows the Origin One 3D printer to create difficult geometries without supports, fine features, and solid cross-sections, with excellent surface quality.

A lot of the interest surrounding P3 technology, and the Origin One itself, is because of the build speed and throughput which is possible due to the design of the build process itself. One of the most impactful design considerations is the separation process that minimizes external forces during the build. Additionally, an intense 5mW/cm^2 light source as opposed to some competitors who cure resins with an intensity of 1-2 mW/cm^2, allows the Origin One to process strong and mechanically superior resins.

Stratasys Origin One Production PrintingDesigned for Throughput

Now that we understand a little bit more about what makes the Origin One capable of processing such high-performance resins, let’s take a look at what resins can satisfy rigorous medical applications.

P3 Biocompatible Materials

Loctite MED412 – A tough durable resin designed with medical applications in mind. This medical-grade resin is ISO 10993-5 and ISO10993-10 certified for biocompatibility and features an incredible elongation at break while lending itself to be easily machinable with a great surface finish following post-cure. This material is only available in clear and offers some characteristics that mirror those of polypropylene.

P3 Biocompatible Materials MED412 Nasal SwabsMED412 Nasal Swabs

>> MED412 Data Sheet

Loctite MED 413 – This high-performance material is regarded as super tough, boasting a smooth surface finish and is available in both white and clear. By marrying low-mid volume manufacturing, with performance grade resins AND biocompatibility, Stratasys has unlocked new medical capabilities by pioneering innovative designs impossible to create without additive manufacturing.

P3 Biocompatible Materials MED413 Lice Removal ToolMED 413 Lice Removal Tool Designed for Additive

>> MED 413 Data Sheet

Loctite 3843 – A versatile engineering polymer with properties similar to ABS. You can expect parts made from 3843 to last with a blend of strength and stiffness. It also looks incredible with a beautiful surface finish. The biocompatibility of this material is a game-changer because it allows users to create parts that both LOOK and PERFORM their best in medical applications.

P3 Biocompatible Materials Loctite 3843

Loctite 3843

>> Loctite 3843 Data Sheet

UltraCur3D ST 45 – From BASF, a urethane photopolymer with great impact strength and flexural strength as well as an 81D hardness. ST 45 boasts two of the most coveted certifications including Flammability UL-94 1.5mm HB, and ISO-10993 Biocompatibility. Available in either black or clear, this material thrives in applications such as housings, custom tooling, high fidelity prototypes, or where the previous certifications are mission-critical. This material is a great overall choice when print speed, durability, and/or aesthetics are some of the defining characteristics of success.

P3 Biocompatible Materials BASF UltraCur3d ST45

BASF UltraCur3D ST45

>> Ultracur3D ST 45 Data Sheet 

Developments in the medical field happen rapidly but cannot outpace faster than the ability to manufacture new solutions. Additive manufacturing has empowered the medical industry to fail faster allowing them to solve the pain faster. It has also given them the ability to dream and design beyond previous limits set forth by traditional manufacturing capabilities. Thinking ahead, even if one of these doesn’t satisfy your application, the Origin One offers an Open Material License (OML) enabling users to print with any 385 nm resin and could have them certified using a third-party source.

Using the Origin One 3D printer, Enventys Partners was able to provide several options for their client to choose from. They were able to make tweaks and deliver an end-use biocompatible device almost in real-time. Download the case study for the full story!