In a world first, the material supplier Evonik announced today that it has launched a 3D printable implant polyetheretherketone (PEEK) filament for medical applications. The new material allows custom plastic implants to be 3D printed while meeting the requirements of ASTM F2026, the standard specification for PEEK polymers used in surgical implant applications.
|The natural colored PEEK filament is wound on 250 or 500 gram spools, which are suitable for direct use in standard 3D printers for the production of melt filaments for PEEK materials. Image courtesy of Evonik.|
The Vestakeep i4 3DF filament is based on the viscous, high-performance Vestakeep i4 G from Evonik. Biocompatible, biostable and radiolucent. The filament is manufactured under clean room conditions and is subject to strict quality management standards for medical materials.
The high-performance material was developed for FFF technology (Fused Filament Fabrication). The natural colored PEEK filament with a diameter of 1.75 mm is wound on 250 or 500 gram spools, which are suitable for direct use in standard FFF 3D printers for PEEK materials.
“For modern medical technology, the development of our first 3D printable implant material opens up new possibilities for adapting patient treatments,” said Marc Knebel, Head of the Medical Devices and Systems Market Segment at Evonik. “Orthopedics and maxillofacial surgery are examples of areas where this could be applied.”
Evonik also offers a test version of its PEEK filament, which has the same properties as the implant quality, but does not have the documentation required for approval in medical technology applications. According to Evonik, this offers a cost-effective way of adapting the processing properties of the high-performance plastic to a specific 3D printer.
Evonik offers an extensive portfolio of GMP-quality biomaterials for 3D printing of parts of medical devices that are designed for temporary and permanent body contact. In addition to Vestakeep i4 3DF, the portfolio includes the Resomer line of bioresorbable filaments, powders and granules for implantable medical devices.