MD&M WEST: FIRST-TIME EXHIBITORS
MTI designs, develops, and manufactures prototype parts, such as these surgical stapler components, using direct metal laser sintering technology.
Morris Technologies Inc. (MTI; Cincinnati, OH) has been at the forefront of laser sintering prototyping technology. Now, it can finish a job too. The prototyping and low-volume production company—which maintains it was the first North American company to acquire direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology in 2003—successfully launched a sister company in 2007 named Rapid Quality Manufacturing (RQM). RQM focuses on preproduction and production using technologies such as DMLS, picking up prototyping jobs where MTI leaves off.
This service provider began recognizing change in machine capabilities and anticipating its prototyping customers’ need for rapid manufacturing more than 2 years ago. Because RQM focuses strictly on production needs, including quality and process controls, MTI is free to focus on prototyping and low-volume requirements. According to Chuck Hansford, vice president, medical division, the DMLS process lends itself to a variety of applications in the medical field, such as components for short-run manufacturing, inserts for injection molding, and orthopedic products like implants and delivery systems used to assist in surgeries.
“Our expertise is currently in the endoscopic, orthopedic, and surgical fields,” says Hansford. MTI’s medical division works exclusively with medical device manufacturers to design and develop prototype devices. The division also builds components for short-run manufacturing and preclinical studies, and fixtures for reliability testing of components and devices. With expertise in troubleshooting mechanisms and developing intellectual property, the division, says Hansford, “is looking to develop partnerships with medical device manufacturers to provide support and expertise in the design, development, and prototyping of their products.”
Since acquiring the technology, MTI has kept up with developments in DMLS. “[MTI] has been a beta site for the newest DMLS materials and superalloys,” says Hansford. The company operates seven DMLS machines, six of which feature the latest generation of DMLS technology. And equipment that once only seemed capable of performing prototyping jobs has now been developed to produce parts in volume with competitive pricing, according to MTI.