FibreTuff Medical Biopolymers LLC has opened a production site in West Unity, Ohio.
The plant will make PAPC-brand nylon, polyolefin and cellulose compounds and 3D filament for the medical market.
The plant will operate two twin-screw extrusion lines and will employ 20 within its first three years, officials said in an Aug. 1 news release. A grand opening event at the site on July 31 was attended by state and local officials.
PAPC can be used for the 3D printing and molding of Class I and II medical devices for spine, trauma and sports medicine. “The market is there, the opportunity is there, and we are adding more strategic partners as we grow,” founder Robert Joyce said in the release.
FibreTuff's PAPC filament can be used in 3D printers without the odors traditionally associated with the printing process, officials said. In addition, the cost to those printing medical devices - such as cervical spacers and implants - is about 30 percent less than other products in the marketplace.
“One of the major advantages is that it's radio opaque, which means it can be seen by an x-ray,” Chief Operating Officer Ted Wolkowski said in the release. PAPC also won't dissolve inside the body. The materials also has passed USP Class VI testing performed by NAMSA for implantation and its weight and composition are similar to actual bone.
PAPC products will be made in West Unity and delivered to customers in the form of compounded pellets, filament and bar stocks for CNC machining, injection and extrusion processes. Keene Village Plastics Co. of Barberton, Ohio, will continue to make some PAPC filament for FibreTuff on a toll basis.
Customers already are using PAPC to make bone replacements, mesh and temporary implants, officials said. Joyce added that FibreTuff wants to to work with hospitals, colleges and universities, and medical device manufacturers to develop a new way to deliver education and functional tools and models to the medical market.
FibreTuff is working with the Toledo, Ohio-based Center for Innovative Food Technologies (CIFT), which is an affiliate of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
Several other Ohio companies are involved with the CIFT project, including Whiteside Orthotic and Prosthetic Group Inc. and JuggerBot3D LLC – both of Youngstown – and Solon-based Valtronic Technologies (USA) Inc.