Autodesk Within Medical, generative design software that optimizes 3D printing of medical implants for the orthopedic industry, was unveiled today. The software allows biomedical engineers to create orthopedic 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 (vascularization) to facilitate healing.
“Because bone ingrowth is vital for many orthopedic surgeries, Within Medical uses various pore size configurations and rough lattice surfaces to help the porous implant integrate properly with the bone,” said Mark Davis, senior director of design research at Autodesk. “Within Medical designs are also optimized 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. There are currently more than 600 patients living with implants designed using Within Medical technology.
“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 standardized implants can be designed and developed in a much more biological and intelligent way,” said Daniel Fiz, CEO of Novax DMA, a company specializing in the R&D and production of innovative medical technologies. “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.”
Generative design is central to the future of making things. It is a process by which the infinite computing power of the cloud is used to generate very large sets of designs – thousands to tens of thousands – that meet specific goals. Generative design can increase design quality, efficiency and performance across the board.
In July, Autodesk Within was released as a generative design tool for additive manufacturing in the aerospace, automotive and industrial sectors. Components designed using Autodesk Within can be considerably lighter weight than traditional designs, are as stiff or as flexible as needed, and are refined to enable faultless 3D printing.