3D medical printing revolution a win for patients, workers

By Our Reporter
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Representational image. Photo by Tom Claes on Unsplash

Personalised medical devices such as hips, spines and knees will be made in Victoria thanks to new support from the Andrews Labor Government to expand a world-class 3D medical manufacturing facility in Port Melbourne.

Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said the new investment will enable Melbourne-based 3DMEDiTech to transform its existing facility, supercharging Victoria’s advanced medical manufacturing sector and reducing wait times for Victorians needing implants, an official press release said.

Life-changing devices already produced by 3D printers at the Port Melbourne facility include the Serkel orthopaedic helmet that encourages symmetrical head growth in babies.

Once complete, the 3DMEDiTech base will be one of the largest and most advanced 3D personalised medical manufacturing facilities of its kind in the world—and the only one in Australia.

The project will attract $27 million in private capital investment, create 91 new highly-skilled jobs for Victorians and provide opportunities to accelerate the commercialisation of new medical technologies.

New research and development could lead to further advancements in areas including craniofacial (bones of the skull and face) modelling and implants, surgical tool manufacture and titanium 3D printing capability—expanding export opportunities.

The facility will allow 3DMEDiTech to grow production of Victorian-developed COVID-19 testing solutions including 3D-printed nasopharyngeal and saliva swabs. The company has a contract with the Commonwealth Government to supply nasopharyngeal swab kits for the National Medical Stockpile.

3DMEDiTech is also partnering with the University of Melbourne to establish a co-located Joint Research Training Centre onsite, which in turn will create further opportunities to develop a pipeline of new medical technologies.

The Labor Government is continuing to drive growth and deliver thousands of new jobs in Victoria’s medical technology manufacturing sector through the $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund and the $20 million Australian MedTech Manufacturing Centre, set to be established in Melbourne.


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