With 3D printing being used to create medical devices and implants, 3D printer equipment manufacturers are starting to take notice by developing specialized materials to meet this new demand.

EOS in particular is attuned to the needs of the healthcare industry and has just announced two metal materials that are biocompatible – making them ideal for the development of new medical technology.

These new materials are not only applicable for medical manufacturing, but for other industries as well, such as aerospace, shipbuilding, jewelry and watchmaking. Christiane Krempl, Product Marketing Manager Metals at EOS states: "A broader variety of titanium and stainless steel materials mirrors the ever changing requirements among our customers and opens up new fields of application."

The two new materials are a light titanium alloy and a stainless steel alloy. Both are corrosive resistant and biocompatible.

EOS Titanium Ti64ELI: light metal alloy – corrosion resistant and biocompatible

Parts built in EOS Titanium Ti64 have a chemical composition and mechanical properties corresponding to ASTM F136. Providing a high detail resolution it can be processed on an EOSINT M 280 (400 Watt) metal laser-sintering system. This light metal alloy shows an excellent corrosion resistance. Due to its biocompatibility and high grade of purity it is particularly suited for the additive manufacturing of medical implants.

EOS StainlessSteel 316L: corrosion resistant and biocompatible stainless steel

This stainless steel alloy has been optimized specifically for the processing on the EOSINT M 280 metal laser-sintering system. It shows a good corrosion resistance and a high ductility. Parts built from EOS StainlessSteel 316L have a chemical composition corresponding to ASTM F138 (Standard Specification for Wrought 18Cr-14Ni-2.5Mo Stainless Steel Bar and Wire for Surgical Implants UNS S31673). In the medical industry, this alloy is particularly suited for surgical instruments, for endoscopic surgery, orthopedics and implants.

The material is also a good choice for use in the watch and jewelry industry, where the designer benefits from extensive freedom of design. Shaping and structural restrictions as such are a thing of the past. Parts such as watch cases, thanks to defined hollow spaces, can be manufactured more cost-efficiently and easily, at the same time saving resources. The material is also well suited for additive manufacturing applications such as spectacle frames or functional elements in yachts. In the aerospace industry, EOS StainlessSteel is a good choice for the manufacture of clamping elements or heat exchangers. Parts manufactured from that material can be mechanically post-processed or polished.