The future of 3D printing and medical device manufacturing: our MD&M East 2017 takeaways

GCMI and its subsidiary T3 Labs recently attended MD&M East: one of the largest medtech events on the east coast, connecting thousands of engineers, executives, as well as hundreds of leading vendors. Here are our takeaways, courtesy of Patrick Strane, Sr. Project Engineer at GCMI.

It isn’t often that one finds himself surrounded by hundreds of technologies focused on medical product creation, but that is exactly what you will find at MD&M East. Some of these technologies were revolutionary, such as an additive manufacturing technology capable of printing a vehicle, and some were more traditional. In speaking with many of these organizations one truth kept ringing clearly in my head: as medical innovators, we are surrounded by and have access to a plethora of high-quality capable resources to aid in the product development process. The tricky part is knowing when and how to engage the right people to most efficiently push your idea forward.


As someone who manages medical device development at the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI), I was eager to learn more about the creative technologies being presented at MD&M East. Learning how to leverage new technology to accelerate specification development and concept refinement were of particular interest, as a key focus of this year’s MD&M, was additive manufacturing.

Those of you well versed in specification development will know that using additive manufacturing to assist in product development is enabling, but can also lead to headaches when manufacturing transfer reveals a once functional 3D printed prototype required significant re-design. However; the ever-increasing quality, expanding library of available materials, and scalable manufacturing speeds of presented technologies directly challenges current issues with using additive manufacturing for product development. I walked away from MD&M East with an even stronger reassurance that additive manufacturing is on the cusp of losing its fine print and asterisk’s, and will soon become a no-compromises manufacturing option for medical innovators.


With all the exciting and ground-breaking resources presented at MD&M East, you may be wondering, “How can I best leverage these technologies to help progress my idea?” In my opinion, regardless of how fast, accurate, and repeatable manufacturing technologies become it’s important to realize that there are a lot of factors affecting success that are unrelated to manufacturing.

That’s where GCMI steps in- our experts and engineers partner with and guide innovators through a strategic plan to derisk their medical device in order to accelerate the commercialization pathway. We ask the right questions and work alongside them to create an overall development strategy, that includes background information such as market opportunity, the regulatory pathway, and reimbursement. We teach innovators so that they understand what the device needs to do for all the stakeholders on the pathway to commercialization. When all of these aspects of device development are understood, having a discussion about how to make it happen becomes all the easier.

Related:

The importance of innovators working with third party design firms to get novel medical technologies to market

A start for med tech startups: Pathfinder by GCMI and T3 Labs

If you are an early stage medical technology company or an innovator and want to talk about your device or product’s path to regulatory approval, including design and development or you are ready to engage the preclinical process, Contact info@devices.net or info@t3labs.org to learn more about GCMI’s process and capabilities.