Amedica Corporation, a company that develops and commercializes silicon nitride ceramics as a biomaterial platform, is pleased to announce its first fabrication of complex, three-dimensional structures by a 3D printing process called robotic deposition, or robocasting. The final products have been examined under scanning electron microscopy to confirm the integrity and validity of the 3D printing method, and have been shown to achieve similar theoretical density and microstructure attributes to the traditionally manufactured silicon nitride fusion devices currently in use.
Robocasting is a freeform fabrication technique for dense ceramics and composites that is based on layered deposition of highly colloidal slurries. The process is essentially binder-less and a device can be completely sintered in less than 24 hours. With this advancement, Amedica can now progress toward commercializing 3D printed silicon nitride implants, with controllable porosity levels to address specific clinical needs. This unique manufacturing method is promising for the production of anatomically relevant shaped silicon nitride implants, while also allowing custom fabrication of bone scaffolds suited for cellular differentiation and neovascularization.