Autodesk has announced a brand new venture into the medical industry today with the launch of Autodesk Within Medical, a generative design software that optimises 3D printing of medical implants for the orthopaedic industry.
There are currently more than 600 living patients with implants designed using Within Medical technology. The software allows biomedical engineers to create orthopaedic implants with micro-lattice porous structures that help properly connect the implants to living bone (osseointegration), and promote development of blood vessels in the surrounding tissue to facilitate healing.
“Within Medical uses various pore size configurations and rough lattice surfaces to help the porous implant integrate properly with the bone,” explained Mark Davis, senior director of design research at Autodesk. “Within Medical designs are also optimised for specific 3D printing processes – such as direct metal laser sintering and electron beam melting – that allow for highly accurate manufacturing.”
Applications of Within Medical include surgical repair of defects or deformities of the skull, hip joint replacement, lumbar vertebral replacement and facial reconstruction. The software is available as a pay-as-you-go Desktop Subscription offering.
“Within Medical has contributed enormously to changing the way in which we design and manufacture implants. It is a tool with which both custom made and standardised implants can be designed and developed in a much more biological and intelligent way,” Daniel Fiz, CEO of Novax DMA, a company specialising in the R&D and production of innovative medical technologies, commented. “As both a surgeon and a designer, I believe this is the most important tool I have ever used, enabling us to make anatomic designs that would be impossible with other software.”
Acetabular hip cup featuring micro porous lattice structure.
Generative design is central to the future of making things and can increase design quality, efficiency and performance. It is a process by which the infinite computing power of the cloud is used to generate thousands to tens of thousands sets of designs that meet specific goals.
Back in July, the company released Autodesk Within as a generative design tool for additive manufacturing in the aerospace, automotive and industrial sectors. Components designed using Autodesk Within are refined to produce faultless 3D prints and can be more light weight, robust or as flexible as needed.