Materialise > Case Studies > Personalized Automation: FITme's Journey to Increase Productivity by 346% with 3D Printing

Personalized Automation: FITme's Journey to Increase Productivity by 346% with 3D Printing

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 Personalized Automation: FITme's Journey to Increase Productivity by 346% with 3D Printing - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - Device Management Platforms
  • Wearables - Implants
Applicable Industries
  • Buildings
  • Healthcare & Hospitals
Applicable Functions
  • Product Research & Development
Use Cases
  • Mass Customization
  • Time Sensitive Networking
Services
  • Training
The Challenge
FITme, a Korean-based company specializing in manufacturing implants for facial reconstruction, faced a significant challenge in scaling up their processes for mass personalization. The conventional process of fitting a ready-made silicone implant onto bone structure with manual carving was time-consuming and lacked precision. Surgeons had no tool to analyze patients' scan data and relied solely on photographs. This led to side effects such as bending and movement of the implant, resulting in patient dissatisfaction. The medical tourism industry in Korea was rapidly rising, and FITme had to meet higher demands and reduce lead time. The process of designing custom nasal implants that conformed to the variable shape of patient nasal profiles was a daunting and repetitive task for design engineers. It took up to three months to adequately train new engineers in designing patient implants, which was also expensive.
The Customer
About The Customer
FITme is a Korean-based company that specializes in manufacturing implants for facial reconstruction. They are pioneers in the field, focusing on 3D printing and engineering to provide better fitting implants and faster service to their patients. They aim to improve their production processes with mass personalization through 3D technology. FITme is committed to reducing the manual effort and time spent designing implants, and they strive to provide a solution that reduces lead time and meets the increasing demands of the rapidly rising medical tourism industry in Korea.
The Solution
FITme collaborated with Materialise to develop a custom plugin that automates the workflow while retaining key manual design steps for the design engineer. The plugin, named FITme Nasal Implant Wizard, streamlined the design process. After the design engineer prepared the segmented parts of the patient, the custom plugin imported the segmented parts as 3D models into 3-matic, where the parts were merged and warped into a single object. The plugin then set the sketches by automatically creating the base and center sketch plane based on the engineer's landmark indication. The sketches auto-aligned to the midface, and the engineer had the flexibility to adjust the sketch planes. Once the engineer completed the sketch, the plugin superimposed the sketch to the nasal structure and created the base profile of the nasal implants. The plugin automatically created the profile of the implant with a single click, perfectly conforming to the unique shape of each patient's nasal bone and cartilage structure.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of the FITme Nasal Implant Wizard has revolutionized FITme's operations. The plugin has made mass customization a reality, allowing the FITme team to scale up its work from one custom design to hundreds of designs while still maintaining the option to customize every individual design when needed. The designs are now more consistent, thanks to automation. The plugin has not only saved time but also money, significantly reducing the training time for new engineers. The company has seen a rapid increase in the number of cases since adopting the plugin, expanding its reach to more than 130 partner hospitals in six different countries. The plugin aligns with FITme's core focuses of 3D printing, engineering, and pioneering, enabling them to provide better fitting implants and faster service to their patients.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Productivity increased by 346% in the design phase
  • Time to complete an implant design reduced from one hour to 15 minutes
  • Training time for new engineers reduced from three months to less than a day, saving $10,000 per new engineer

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