Sustainability Award for the Smart Implants Group

Department of Biomedical Engineering | University of Basel

14 December 2021, Reinhard Wendler, 36 views

At our 3D print lab, we use 3D printing to produce precise, anatomical patient models and patient specific surgical guides. Until 2020, residual waste was regularly generated by discarded prototypes, testprints as well as material for support structures. We now operate a recycling system, use biodegradable printing materials while keeping our focus on quality.

We now...

  • Print models and patient specific implants on site. This saves time, raw materials, packaging materials, long transport routes and costs.
  • For the production of recycled filaments, we have invested in a specialized chopper and a filament maker. Since 2020, we shred unused material, producing recycled filament which we use for printing new models. 
  • For our models, we now mainly use ecoPLA(polylactic acid), a non-toxic and biodegradable 3D printing material made from plant starch.
  • We reuse the remaining 3D printing material in the binder jet and powder bed technology.
  • We invest in high-quality laboratory instruments, printers and equipment with a repair guarantee and the longest possible service lifefor low lifecycle costs.
  • We use reusable rather than disposable containers for collecting and transporting materials and models.
  • Furthermore, our processes, including ordering, planning and quality assurance, are fully digitalized, implying a low paper consumption.

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