OPT Industries wants to expand access to a 3D printing technology currently serving the medical and consumer products industries
MEDFORD, Mass.—MIT spinout OPT Industries recently opened an automated additive-manufacturing facility in Medford to build innovative products for the medical and consumer products industries. OPT Industries launched the 14,000-square-foot manufacturing site to expand access to its RAMP™ 3D printing platform, which the company is currently using to produce a novel, highly effective nasal swab for COVID-19 testing, OPT said in a release.
OPT Industries began with a patented 3D printing system built upon years of research and development by its founder, Jifei Ou. The RAMP technology is a patented 3D printing platform powered by roll-to-roll-based digital photolithography. It enables fully automated, 24/7 production of continuous microstructures that can be produced with unlimited length and micron-level precision, according to OPT.
During the pandemic, the OPT team quickly scaled up the technology to design and manufacture the InstaSwab™ novel nasal swab for COVID-19 testing. To date, OPT is reported to have supplied more than 800,000 swabs to healthcare and at-home testing organizations nationwide.
“Our proprietary additive manufacturing system specializes in making microstructures at a massive scale,” said Ou, in the release. “We’re unique in precision microfabrication that can create rolls of materials and designs with no limitation in length. Our technology stack currently provides material solutions for medical, cosmetic, and consumer product applications.”
According to OPT, it organizes its technology stack as a digital manufacturing system to rapidly design and mass produce functional materials and products, from micro to macro scale. Along with the RAMP 3D printer, the digital manufacturing system includes generative software that employs custom algorithms to optimize the design of dense micron-scale structures. The optimized designs enable production of highly customized, ultra-fine, and freeform features. Also integral to the system are engineered polymers that can be designed for advanced mechanical, thermal, and biological properties.
With the Medford expansion, OPT is broadening R&D, manufacturing and fulfillment capabilities.
“I am thrilled that OPT Industries is choosing to call Medford home and it was an honor to cut the ribbon on their new headquarters in the City,” said Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn, in the release. “This innovative company is hard at work perfecting a revolutionary 3D-printed nasal swab that can detect trace amounts of the COVID-19 virus, enabling people to get diagnosed and treated faster.”
OPT said in the release that its facility is a fully equipped research lab and manufacturing site that adheres to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines and ISO 13485:2016-certification for medical device manufacturing. Amid growing demand by Fortune 500 companies and market leaders for OPT’s products, including the InstaSwab high-efficacy medical swab, OPT is establishing its first product line focused on serving the medical sector.
“OPT will be continuously enhancing new capabilities from our technologies to introduce new product lines for the industries we serve,” added Ou. “We work with our customers as a one-stop shop partner to design, develop, and manufacture end products to meet their exact needs. Whether you’re a distributor or a brand interested in co-inventing a new product, OPT’s collaborative business model offers a new paradigm for product creation from inception to manufacturing.”