GE teams up with Stryker on additive manufacturing

Posted on 6 Jul 2017 by Michael Cruickshank

US-based electronics company GE has announced that it is forming a partnership with medical technology company Stryker to advance additive manufacturing.

A 3D printed part produced by GE Additive. Image courtesy of GE Additive
A 3D printed part produced by GE Additive – image courtesy of GE Additive

GE Additive will reportedly provide machines, materials, and services for Stryker’s global supply chain operations.

The company, which is the 3D-printing arm of the wider GE conglomerate markets a number of additive manufacturing systems which are already in use by Stryker.

These machines include the Concept Laser and Arcam machines, both of which can be used to 3D print high-quality metallic products.

In Stryker’s case, the company uses these machines to manufacture precision medical instruments which it then markets to hospitals and health care practitioners.

“GE and Stryker share a similar vision and both of us understand the transformative power of additive design and manufacturing,” said vice president and general manager of GE Additive, Mohammad Ehteshami.

“We regard Stryker as one of the most experienced practitioners of metal additive, with a range of commercialized medical products.”

Additive manufacturing is especially useful in the medical field due to its requirements for custom parts, often tailored to a certain patient.

The Manufacturer recently sat down with the head of GE Additive, Mohammad Ehteshami, to discuss what the future holds for additive manufacturing.

You can read the resulting feature here

Among these, items like prostheses and joint or bone replacements are among the most obvious use cases for this technology.

Stryker also takes this one step further, printing metallic joint replacements with a porous structure, enabling bone to grow within the metallic replacement and more fully fuse it with the body.

“Working with GE Additive and leveraging their expertise is a very compelling proposition for Stryker,” said John Haller, Vice President of Global Supply at Stryker.

“We believe this collaboration will accelerate our additive manufacturing journey and support our mission to make healthcare better.”

While this partnership appears to be a natural fit for the two companies, at this stage it is unclear how much financial commitment either party has earmarked for it.

Beyond medical devices, GE is also pushing ahead to develop machines capable of producing parts for a number of industries including aviation.