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The start-up company Kumovis has won the Munich Business Plan Competition 2018 with a 3D printer specially designed for medical technology requirements. The young company from Munich has developed a 3D printer that can process the high-performance polymer PEEK. It is already used in medical technology and is approved for the manufacture of implants.

The special feature of Kumovis’s new production process: a temperature-controlled air circuit and special filter contents create a cleanroom environment within the installation space. This prevents components inside, such as skull plate or spinal implants, from becoming contaminated with foreign particles. In medical technology in particular, absolute cleanliness is an essential prerequisite for the manufacture of implants. Ordinary particles, such as those found in the air, would contaminate the implant and render it unusable. Thanks to process monitoring, the Kumovis 3D printer can reproduce individual products for patients and produce them to the highest quality.

Attempts at the TU Munich
The start-up was founded in 2015 when their medical experiments with PEEK components at the Technical University of Munich did not show satisfactory results. Therefore the team started to develop a PEEK printer and a business plan. Meanwhile, the company consists of the two managing directors Dr. Ing. Miriam Haerst and Stefan Leonhardt as well as Stefan Fischer, Sebastian Pammer and Alexander Henhammer, who are responsible for the areas of mechanics and process, mechatronics, and business development.

With the 3D printing process developed by Kumovis based on Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology, the start-up aims to improve the treatment of patients with individual manufacturing solutions. The company relies on the medical plastic PEEK. The core elements of the manufacturing process are temperature management, process monitoring, and a particle-free environment.

Photo: BayStartup Widmann