German startup Kumovis, which developed the R1 3D printer specifically for medical applications and a portfolio of medical-grade polymers, has opened a US subsidiary. Kumovis Inc. forms the cornerstone for business relationships with partner companies in North America, where installations of its signature 3D printers are already in progress, said the company. It did not mention the location of the subsidiary.
The Munich-based spin-out from the Technical University of Munich was founded in 2017 and introduced the R1 series 3D printers in the summer of 2019. Based on fused deposition modeling, the R1 is designed to enable medtech companies and hospitals to manufacture products in a resource-efficient way. Indeed, Kumovis claims that its process is more cost- and time-efficient than milling or injection molding for manufacturing patient-specific medical devices and small-series products.
Last year, Kumovis expanded its range of medical-grade polymers, which now include PEEK reinforced with carbon fiber (PEEK CF); PPSU mixed with barium sulfate (PPSU + BaSO4) for improved X-ray visibility; and PEI and resorbable polymers PLLA, PLGA, PCL, and PDO.
The medical 3D printing market is still relatively small — it is forecast to reach a value of $5.1 billion by 2026 — but its compound annual growth rate is expected to be a robust 16.3% between 2021 and 2026, according to a recent report from ResearchAndMarkets.
Kumovis cites cranial implants, spinal fusion devices, and medical instruments as applications where 3D printing brings new opportunities. It is currently working with Drexel University in Philadelphia, which is using a precursor machine to the R1 to further push the use of 3D printing in US healthcare beyond anatomical models and surgical instruments, said the company.
“With its potential extending beyond craniomaxillofacial applications and the receptiveness to innovative 3D-printing solutions for healthcare, the future is promising for US hospitals and medical device companies in particular,” said Kumovis in the news release announcing its expansion into the US market.