The machine – funded by the South African Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation – will be housed inside the ISO13485 accredited Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacture, where it will be used as an important tool in providing access to this ground-breaking healthcare technology to benefit the general population.
With the motto “In Africa – For Africa”, this machine will enable the democratization of first-class healthcare possibilities and treatment for the entire population. The Lithoz printer will be used in medical device manufacturing and has been acquired by the Department of Science and Innovation to support their Medical Device Additive Manufacturing Technology Demonstrator (MedAdd) project.
The installation was proudly supported by a personal visit from the acting deputy director-general of the Department of Science and Innovation, Dr Rebecca Maserumule, and the Free State MEC (Member of Executive Council) for Education, Honourable Tate Makgoe. This visit underlines the importance of the arrival of LCM 3D printing as a key technology to enable a new dimension of innovative and patient specific healthcare solutions.
As the first ceramic 3D printer installed in the entire African continent, this installation represents an important step forward in the growth of ceramic 3D printing as an established manufacturing technology in industry and healthcare. CUT, a leading African University of Technology at the forefront of research and innovation in additive manufacturing for medical implants, will use the machine to aid their research into customized medical device manufacturing via 3D printing.
Dr. Gerrie Booysen, Director of the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing at CUT, was delighted with this new acquisition, stating,
“This new technology is a complete game-changer for our research at CUT. With this access to powerful 3D printing technology, we will be able to develop and innovate further than ever into new healthcare solutions – in Africa, for Africa.” Dr. Johannes Homa, CEO of Lithoz, is very proud to have “successfully brought ceramic 3D printing access to the African continent for the first time”, citing it as “a real milestone achievement for Lithoz and the ceramic 3D printing industry worldwide”.
Lithoz is the world and technology leader for high-performance ceramic materials and 3D printers. Founded in 2011, Lithoz is committed to breaking the boundaries of ceramic production and supporting customers in expanding the manufacturing opportunities for the ceramic industry. The company has an export share of almost 100%, more than 125 employees and, since 2017, a subsidiary in the USA. Since 2016, Lithoz has also been ISO 9001-2015 certified.
The CRPM based within the Central University of Technology is the leading manufacturer of 3D printed medical devices in South Africa. Established in 1997, the CRPM achieved ISO 13845 certification in 2016 and aims to affordably improve the lives’ of people. The 3D printing technology available at the CRPM also serves the aerospace, agriculture, defence, and product development industries. With just a team of 11 employees, the CRPM is ready to turn your dreams into a reality, be it through metal or polymer 3D printing.