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Article: 3D printer for X-ray technology specialists

3D-Drucker für Röntgentechnik-Spezialisten

3D printer for X-ray technology specialists

New Wolf Medizintechnik GmbH facility in St. Gangloff is the result of an East Thuringian knowledge transfer

St.Gangloff/Jena 

Wolf Medizintechnik GmbH in St. Gangloff put a special 3D printer for medical applications into operation at a ceremony on Thursday afternoon. The device manufactured by BURMS - 3D Druck Jena GmbH & Co. KG allows a novel manufacturing process for components of an X-ray therapy device. At the official handover in the presence of the Thuringian Economics Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD), Burms CEO Uwe Brick said that, to his knowledge, it was the world's first 3D printing application in which the printed component - an applicator made of plastic, which produces the high-energy can transmit radiation - is suitable for contact with a surgical wound, for example after a cancer operation. Wolf Medizintechnik GmbH is a specialized supplier of devices and systems for radiological diagnostics and therapy and was taken over by Eckert & Ziegler Bebig GmbH in 2017.

Cost-effective/Production

The deputy operations manager of Wolf Medizintechnik, Christoph Kaufmann, welcomed the guests and, among other things, demonstrated the function of the 3D printer. The larger-than-life, dark gray device is visually reminiscent of a large refrigerator, but inside it contains high technology worth tens of thousands of euros. The tip, the tube head, of a special radiation therapy device is printed with a spring arm. This part had to be manufactured in a much more complex process in which individual parts made of different materials were glued together. As part of the joint project with BURMS 3D-Druck GmbH, a 3D printer has now been specially modified to produce these objects. 3D printing enables the component to be produced in one process. This means the solution is more cost-effective and promises a longer service life. When developing the printing process, a variety of challenges had to be overcome - for example with regard to the material and the process. Employees at Wolf Medizintechnik emphasized another special feature: an RFID chip is also printed. This enables clear identification and proof of frequency and duration of use, as well as automatic information as to when the component needs to be replaced.

Workshop discussion as a starting point for cooperation

The starting point for the development, according to Kerstin Michalke from the Ilmenau branch of the medium-sized digital center located at the Ernst Abbe University Jena, was a workshop discussion that was carried out in cooperation with the IHK Ostthüringen in Gera. Evelin Barth from the IHK reported that the cooperation was initiated in 2019. Everyone involved reported fruitful collaboration between science and business and successful technology transfer. Economics Minister Tiefensee also praised the successful project as an interdisciplinary effort: "An example of how networks in Thuringia bear fruit." He emphasized how important it is to ultimately create market-ready products from successful research and development and thus generate added value .

Source: OTZ, Martin Schöne

On the contribution of the OTZ

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