Wilfried Vancraen

Wilfried Vancraen has served as a Director and Chief Executive Officer since Materialise was founded in July 1990. Mr. Vancraen previously worked as a Research Engineer and Consultant at the Research Institute of the Belgian Metalworking Industry, where he was introduced to 3D printing. Passionate about this new technology and firm in his belief that it could help create a better and healthier world, he founded Materialise in July 1990. Mr. Vancraen holds several patents related to the technical and medical applications of 3D printing and remains committed to using the technology to make positive changes in people’s lives.In recent years, Mr. Vancraen has been awarded the RTAM/SME Industry Achievement Award (the highest honor in the 3D printing industry); has been selected as the most influential person in additive manufacturing by industry professionals and TCT Magazine; and has been listed one of the five leading players in his sector by the Financial Times. He is also the recipient of a 2013 "Visionaries!" award from the Museum of Art and Design in New York. Mr. Vancraen holds a Master of Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from KULeuven University.

A 3D Printed Breakthrough for Complex Children’s Fractures from Materialise NV on Vimeo . Imagine that you break your arm and it heals back together incorrectly, making it difficult to perform simple, everyday tasks. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your surgeon could use medical imaging data from your arm, make a 3D virtual model and test multiple approaches to figure out the best way to fix it? With 3D visualization software, this is possible. What about going one step further and your surgeon making surgical guides so he/she would know exactly where to cut and drill your bone, and use implants and plates designed to fit your unique anatomy? 3D Printing can make this happen. 3D Printing software and services have drastically grown over the past few years in the medical sector, particularly when it comes to surgical planning software and patient-specific medical devices. Patient-specific guides by Materialise More patients have benefited from 3D Printing software and solutions as more medical centers have adopted this technology. However, with this advancement comes the flipside, which is that regulatory bodies face the challenge to make this technology available while maintaining patient safety standards. This is why we advocate for dedicated regulation when it comes to medical devices so that it can continue to grow consistently and safely in the years to come. Regulatory Obstacles along the Road… This lack of regulation for 3D-printed, patient-specific medical devices can be seen in the current version of the EU’s regulatory framework. The EU has been working for many years on an update to the Medical Devices Directive. This proposed legislation has many noble attributes in addition to overcoming the flaws and gaps of the existing Medical Devices Directive, such as supporting technology and science innovation while simultaneously strengthening patient safety. This is something that we...