Technology used by ProSpon
The company has an experienced team of R&D designers who work with engineering 3D CAD software SOLIDWORKS by Dassault Systemes, including a system for the complex management of product-related electronic documents (PDM). For X-ray, CT and MRI data processing and their conversion into computer 3D models the Mimics Innovation Suite software by Materialise is used.
Designs of individual replacements are continuously consulted with medical specialists using plastic rapid-prototype models, usually made of PLA material by 3D printing (Fused Filament Fabrication method). The same 3D printing technology is also utilised for manufacturing sterilisable, single-use instruments - especially of various guides. These are printed from a special material intended for the medical sector, which meets the biocompatibility requirements of the international standard ISO 10993-1 for short-term contact with human tissue.
If necessary, the stress and bearing capacity of the designed implant is checked using FEM (Finite Element Method) mathematical simulations.
The subsequent production of individual replacements, which are supplemented with a porous structure on the appropriate surfaces, is performed primarily using additive manufacturing by 3D printing from the titanium alloy Ti6Al4V ELI on the Concept Laser´s M2 Cusing machine (Direct Metal Laser Sintering method). Combining these technologies enables the production of fully patient-specific implants, which can be further supplemented with extensions compatible with ProSpon's serial-produced and modular components. During the treatments, which are necessary after the manufacturing process, or simply during the "postprocessing", conventional technologies, or CNC machining, are used to achieve the required dimensions, surface and mechanical properties quality. This is mainly annealing, as a heat treatment to reduce the internal stresses of the material or possibly also hot isostatic pressing (HIP) to reduce undesirable porosity in the volume of the material.
Special surface treatments, e.g. applying a hard layer of diamond-like carbon (DLC), anodizing for color differentiation or spraying of the mineral hydroxyapatite to support surface osseointegration are undertaken at the workplaces of specialized, partner manufacturers.
As part of the research and development activities, cooperating with partners from the academic sector is ongoing with further innovations. These innovations include, antibacterial coatings, or surface hardening, using a plasma shock wave created with high-energy laser pulses - Laser Shock Peening (LSP), the implementation of which can be expected in ProSpon's products in the future.
Our R&D engineers also observe the latest trends in the field and participate in international congresses, focused both on corresponding medical science topics and on more general topics affecting most technical fields - currently e.g. 3D printing or nanotechnology.