Paragon Medical has broken ground on a new additive manufacturing facility. Located on its existing campus in Pierceton, IN, the plant will offer 34,000 square feet of manufacturing and operational space once complete.
The facility's initial focus will be on manufacturing porous titanium implants and will quickly expand into additional metals and polymers for various medical device applications.
Pierceton is less than 10 miles from Warsaw, IN, which has a well-earned reputation as the orthopedics capital of the world. 3D printing is a key emerging technology in the production of orthopedic implants because it enables porous designs that are difficult to achieve with other methods of fabrication. Porosity promotes biologic fixation, fostering bone regrowth. Additive manufacturing also allows the fabrication of patient-specific implants and rapid design iterations. Because it is an additive rather than subtractive process, 3D printing results in less scrap than other production methods.
Paragon’s new additive manufacturing facility is supported by an initial investment of $16 million with additional funding of $19 million over the next five years, said the company. The investments will encompass the facility, printers, inspection, and support equipment that will enable Paragon Medical to vertically integrate the entire additive manufacturing process from powder to finished good.
Noting that additive manufacturing is integral to the future of medical manufacturing, Simon Newman, CEO of MW Industries, Paragon Medical's parent company, said that the investment in 3D printing will allow the company to “produce lighter, more complex medical parts faster, helping our customers provide solutions that advance the entire healthcare industry."
The additive manufacturing technology and processes will be supported by Paragon Medical's partner, 3D Systems, which has more than 30 years of experience in industrial 3D printing. 3D Systems will provide assistance in machine onboarding and validation; part design and process development; regulatory support; and material sourcing and supply.
Combined with Paragon’s medical manufacturing experience, 3D Systems' expertise in in additive technology and processes will result in a “meaningful difference in the healthcare market,” said Sean Miller, Vice President of Sales at Paragon Medical.
The additive manufacturing center is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2022.