Computer numerical control (CNC) milling uses software-guided machinery to create precise parts, many of which have intricate or complex features. Because this process is so accurate, it can be used to produce parts that are needed for high-stakes applications. In the medical field, for example, CNC milling is used to create customized medical devices, prosthetics, and surgical instruments.
This technology has revolutionized the healthcare industry by providing a more efficient way to yield even the most complicated devices. It also reduces production time and increases patient satisfaction.
Because they’re so versatile, CNC milling services are in high demand. The industry was worth over $14.6 billion in the United States in 2018 and is expected to reach almost 23 billion in 2026. A significant portion of this increase will undoubtedly be attributed to its applications in the medical field.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common medical parts that are produced by CNC milling:
CNC milling can create implants that are specifically designed to fit the patient’s unique anatomy. Such implants are preferable to the standard “one-size-fits-all” devices, since even a small deviation from average can hinder healing and cause ongoing issues like chronic pain.
Custom implants are most often used to address medical conditions like bone cancer and severe arthritis. Because they yield better patient outcomes and cause fewer complications, though, they’re gradually becoming the norm in all kinds of other scenarios.
Since it’s such a precise technology, CNC milling can be used to create dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and veneers. With the help of specialized software, this process ensures that every restoration is made with the highest level of accuracy, resulting in a perfect fit for the patient. It’s primarily used to produce dental restorations made from ceramic, metal, or composite resin.
Patients who have lost their limbs to injury or illness can get incredible prosthetics thanks to CNC milling. To enable the creation of prosthetics, body scans are digitized and then used to build an identical 3D model on a software platform. The model is then used in the creation of the blueprint for the replacement limb.
Prosthetics were traditionally created manually, which left considerable room for error. With CNC milling technology, though, prosthetics can be made with the highest level of accuracy, resulting in a perfect fit and better quality of life for the patient.
Scalpels, forceps, and other tools used in surgical procedures are now made with CNC milling. These machines can produce instruments with intricate details and features that are difficult to achieve via traditional manufacturing methods. As an added benefit, these computer-automated machines have no quantity restrictions. That means they can meet the demand for both low-volume individualized surgical instruments and massive numbers of identical precision components.
Let Us Produce Your Custom Medical Devices
CNC milling technology has significantly improved the medical industry by enabling the creation of complex, precise, and customized medical devices such as implants, prosthetics, dental restorations, and surgical instruments.
At Advanced Precision Machining, we specialize in custom CNC milling and take pride in delivering the highest quality products to our clients in the medical industry. Our state-of-the-art equipment and experienced team are dedicated to providing superior service, precision, and quality. Take your medical device innovation to the next level with our CNC milling services.
by Gerry Dillon
Gerry Dillon is a co-founder, current owner and certified CNC machinist at Advanced Precision Machining (APM), a full-service machine shop located in Longmont, Colorado. Gerry has over 30 years of precision milling and machining experience under his belt.