3D Systems Brings a Sleek Solution for Scoliosis - Analyst Blog

Leading 3D printing designer, 3D Systems Corp . ( DDD ) has unveiled a novel 3D printed brace for children and adults suffering from Scoliosis. Scoliosis is a medical condition where the spine has a lateral curvature. Depending on the severity, this abnormality is conventionally treated through observation, bracing or surgery.

In this regard, 3D Systems announced the completion of the pilot project for its new Bespoke Braces and the braces are gaining considerable popularity among kids, given the comfort, flexibility and durability associated with it. Traditional braces, through a painful and clumsy procedure, take the shape of a rigid, restrictive torso shell extending from armpit to hip, exerting a strong, corrective counter-pressure against the ribs and hips.

Placement of braces is the only non-operative treatment option for idiopathic scoliosis. It is a lateral or rotational curvature of the spine which initially appears in children during the prepubescent ages of 8-13, presently affecting around 7 million Americans, of which 90% constitute women. Children are required to wear these braces nearly all the time for an average of 2-3 years until they reach skeletal maturity.

Under the Bespoke process, a prototype 'check-socket' brace is initially fitted in the patient and when considered appropriate, it is digitized to create a digital reference underlay which is further adjusted as per requirements. Eventually the 3D Bespoke Brace is printed using 3D Systems' selective laser sintering (SLS) technology. Apart from the afore-mentioned attributes, this product is fashionable and sleek, thereby gaining more demand than the common alternatives available. The fashion quotient associated with this product also ensures that more people adopt this brace, neglecting which would ultimately result in serious spinal issues. Thus, the Bespoke brace is not just another new product but is an attractive solution for the Scoliosis patients.

In Feb 2014, 3D Systems had printed a hybrid Exoskeleton robotic suit in collaboration with Ekso Bionics, a robotic exoskeleton company. The 3D printed Ekso-Suit - the first of its kind - was made for Amanda Boxtel, who was paralyzed from waist down post a skiing accident in 1992.

Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry Magazine stated that 3D printing technologies have the potential to enhance a variety of medical products such as ear implants, organs and tissues, and prosthetics and exoskeletons among other things.

Healthcare has been one of the priority and high potential segments for 3D Systems. In the last reported quarter (first quarter of 2014), product wise revenues for 3D Systems from the healthcare sector was up 53%. In Apr 2014, the company acquired a leading provider of personalized surgical treatments and patient-specific medical devices, Medical Modeling, to create the largest 3D printing personalized surgery and medical device service and product capability.

3D Systems currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked companies in the sector include Logitech International ( LOGI ), Voxeljet AG ( VJET ) and Dassault Systemes SA ( DASTY ). While Logitech sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Voxeljet and Dassault Systems both have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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