Disappearing Implants: Getting More From Magnesium

Not every medical implant needs to last. Think about the pin a surgeon leaves behind while a broken foot heals. Or a stent that holds open a coronary artery as you’re treated for heart disease. Typically, you’ll have a second surgery to remove the implant after it’s done its job. Or you’ll simply get used to setting off airport detectors for the rest of your life.

Engineers at Magnesium Elektron have a better idea. They’re developing metal materials that your body absorbs in a set amount of time…leaving you with no strange objects on your x-ray—and it’s all done with magnesium alloys.

As specialists in creating alloys, Magnesium Elektron has been finding innovative ways to mix magnesium (the world’s 4th most abundant element) with other materials since the 1930s. The company’s lightweight materials have revolutionized automobiles, helicopters, nuclear power plants, graphic design equipment–and now medicine!

Magnesium Elektron’s diverse product portfolio includes printing equipment, rolled sheets, plates, tooling and jigging, automotive and aerospace applications, and finished parts right from the extrusion press. As such, the company needs a CAD system that supports experimentation and flexibility. And it needs a CAD system that can support large assemblies.

So, Magnesium Elektron uses PTC Creo 2.0. That way, the company doesn’t have to work with just a subset of a product assembly, blind to the overall product design.  With PTC Creo, engineers can easily create and modify large assemblies effectively and interactively. The system is designed to load and display complicated models without binding up your computer resources.

The results?

PTC partner Concurrent Engineering reports that the manufacturer is now enjoying

  • Improved visualizations as products load faster on the desktop.
  • Fewer changes during the physical build stage of product development.
  • Much better ability to respond to changes.

After nearly 80 years of “pushing metallurgic boundaries,” Magnesium Elektron is still leading the way in the world of alloys, and PTC products are helping the company remain flexible and responsive as it rolls out the next generation of market-shattering ideas.

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