Mark Crawford, a Contributing Writer interviewed Brian McLaughlin for a May 15th, 2021 article.
 
Amplify Additive’s Founder and CEO, Brian McLaughlin, was recently featured in ODT’s article, “Additive Manufacturing Aids Implant Manufacturing” where 3D printing technologies are put on the table as a growing manufacturing process for orthopedic implants.
 
Crawford states: “We have been speaking with many companies that continue to look for additional suppliers who have experience with AM for implants,” said Brian R. McLaughlin, president and founder of Amplify Additive, a Scarborough, Maine-based contract designer and manufacturer of additively manufactured titanium implants. “We see an unmet gap in the market for what companies are seeking. The manufacturing market for AM is still extremely fragmented, which is one reason this sector continues to grow.
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Current methods such as titanium plasma spray (TPS) coatings only provide a pore size ranging from 100 to 300 microns. “Even though there is good data that shows adhesion of bone and some in-growth, there is also research that demonstrates the optimal pore size for vascularized bone in-growth is in the range of 650 microns,” said McLaughlin. “Currently, the only way to achieve those dimensions is through additive manufacturing, where we can essentially design a pore size and structure for optimized fusion. AM can also create a roughened surface that also aids biomedical fusion.”
Moving Forward
There is a large misconception that additive manufacturing is still too expensive to use for making implants—however, according to McLaughlin, it is cost-competitive with traditional machining when all the process steps and logistics are compared. “For example, to manufacture an acetabular cup using standard methods, you need to design your part, design your casting, manufacture your casting, manufacture your part, ship to machine shop, machine your part, ship to coating house for TPS (or other coating), and ship to packaging,” he said. “With AM, you design, print, ship to machine shop, machine, ship to packaging. As with any other manufacturing process, volume matters, so the more that shifts over to AM, the faster the cost will come down. That said, I believe we can be cost-competitive with traditional methods now.”
Although this is an exciting development, McLaughlin cautions that a key issue will be finding the right people to work directly with the surgeons and help them bridge the gap from clinical to design/manufacturing.”
 
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