Logo of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

R&D project

Metrology for Additively Manufactured Medical Implants (MetAMMI)

Duration of the project

Start: June 2016
End:   May 2019

Description of the project

Additive manufacturing allows the production of tailor-made products from different materials, such as metals, plastics, or ceramics. This is why this kind of manufacturing perfectly fits the needs of certain applications in medicine. Nowadays, more and more medical implants and surgical guides are being produced by additive manufacturing (AM), with significantly increased numbers during the last few years. Reliable, fast and non-destructive measurement methods are however needed to evaluate the quality and characteristics of implants, such as surface characteristics, dimensions, form, density, or fracture strength.

The aim of the EMPIR project MetAMMI is to fill this gap. In addition to the above, research will be performed on the possibility of drawing any conclusions about the implant’s quality from the consideration of numerical models. All this, in the future, is to enable the manufacturer to issue certificates about product security which will be accepted by the corresponding authorities. Finally, the patient’s confidence in AM medical implants should be strengthened.

In a first step, the project consortium will produce proper AM products, which represent particular characteristics regarding size, form and material properties. These characteristics will be measured by means of traceable measurement systems. Later, measurements made with X-ray computed tomography or THz tomography will be evaluated with the reference measurements. Subsequently, studies on real medical implants, such as drilling guides for tooth implants or cranial implants, will be carried out.

The results obtained will be provided to AM producers in the form of good practice guides.

Project consortium

Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais (LNE), Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), Dansk Fundamental Metrologi A/S (DFM), National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy (VTT), Aalto-korkeakoulusäätiö sr (Aalto), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Teknologisk Institut (DTI), Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), FH OÖ Forschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH (FH OÖ), Lithoz GmbH (Lithoz), Medicrea International (Medicrea), Städtisches Klinikum Braunschweig gGmbH (SKBS), The University of Nottingham (UNOTT), BEGO Implant Systems GmbH & Co. KG (Bego), Praxis am Sande (PaS), Xilloc Medical BV (Xilloc)


Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Neuschaefer-Rube