Interreg 2 Seas - 3DMed








Development and streamlined integration of 3D printing technologies to enable advanced medical treatment and its widespread application
17 partners
Coordinator: Technical University Delft / Contact:
Duration: 12/07/2018 – 30/09/2021


3D printing (3DP) technologies carry the promise of revolutionizing the quality and efficiency of healthcare. However, the required technologies, even when available, are currently too fragmented to be integrated into routine, affordable and streamlined solutions that can benefit a large number of patients. It is exactly there that 3DMed comes into play. The 3DMed challenge thereby is to deliver 3DP technologies enabling:
Patient-specific solutions: personalized medical devices that are designed using the images acquired for individual patients and best fit their treatment needs;
Complexity and miniaturization: complex shapes, articulations and miniaturized geometries of implantable medical devices and instruments have the potential to radically enhance treatment effectiveness and post-treatment recovery;
Streamlined care: the ability to integrate diagnosis, design and manufacturing of 3DP medical devices into a validated software platform is the key to delivering fast, affordable treatments with dramatic life-saving potential.
The integration of the currently fragmented expertise, technologies and methodologies for 3DP in medical applications requires the joint effort of 'best-in-class' partners and collaborative work across disciplines and borders: TUD is leading worldwide in the field of steerable medical devices; the involved research groups at UGent (MMS and PBM) are leading in the field of finite element modelling and virtual optimisation and that of biomaterials for 3DP, respectively; ARMINES is well equipped with expertise on 3DP of composites; ULille has top expertise in designing drug release systems and UOx on bioresorbable materials; MTL delivers preoperative planning solutions, with the unique potential to link with postoperatory evaluation; DORC is market leader in ophthalmic surgical instruments. The consortium also includes innovative companies (AmI, EXO-L, Régnier, 3DLP, OxMestar, Oceanz), as well as clinical observers and clusters throughout the 2Seas area, to catalyse the transfer of results to a critical mass of users.


These are the objectives of 3DMed: 3DMed aims to improve affordability and large scale accessibility of medical treatment using 3D printed devices. This will be achieved by increasing the TRL of state-of-the-art 3D printing technologies for medical applications and integrating them into a streamlined, fast, cost-effective software platform for use in routine clinical practice. The main objectives are:
•    Objective 1: Streamlining and integration: to streamline the various steps of the 3D manufacturing process and integrate the data flows with pre-planning and post-operatory evaluation
•    Objective 2: Technology development: advance the TRL of metallic, composite and polymeric 3D printed medical devices
•    Objective 3: Validation: demonstrate the superior performance and ascertain the clinical benefits of the 3D printed medical devices developed in 3DMed.

Role of Ghent University

MMS will develop an automated software workflow for medical application of 3D printed technologies. The focus is on use of 3D printed medical devices for implants, prosthetics and orthotics. Further MMS will perform the patient-specific design and finite element modelling of 3D printed medical implants and prosthetics/orthotics, including topology optimization and exploiting the design freedom of 3D printing.
PBM will develop and characterize biocompatible polyesters in line with 3DP needs. They will also explore extrusion-based and light-based 3DP using the synthesized polymers to develop functional implants.


3DMed website


Prof. Wim Van Paepegem
Mechanics of Materials and Structures (MMS)
Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering (EA11)
Phone number: +32(0)93310432

Prof. Sandra Van Vlierberghe
Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Group (PBM)
Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry
Phone number: +32(0)92644508

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