Interview with Martin Herzmann: Point of Care 3D Printing

Martin Herzmann started his medtech career in 1999 at Brainlab Headquarters in Germany. After working positions in Sales, Product Management, and Business Development, he joined Ziehm Imaging in 2007 and worked for another eight years as Marketing Director for medical capital equipment. In 2015, he joined Materialise and transformed his past experiences into medical 3D printing. In 2019, Martin joined Kumovis as Business Development Manager. The company enables medical device companies and hospitals to manufacture 3D-printed implants, instruments, and guides following regulatory standards and norms. Kumovis has a clear focus on medical 3D printing with high-performance polymers and biodegradable polymers. With the merger of Kumovis and 3D Systems in April 2022 Martin now can focus even more on additive manufacturing at Point-of-Care and accelerates the global implementation of clinical applications such as cranial implants printed in PEEK. Martin will be speaking at our upcoming webinar 3D Printing for Point of Care.

Point of Care 3D Printing July 15 (3)-min

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing?

Martin: I remember the benefit of anatomical models in craniomaxillofacial cases back in 2005. 16 years ago, I was working on pre-operative planning software and was used to sophisticated 3D visualization on a screen. However, the haptic experience added significant value to the case.

Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey/company/career/research in 3D printing?

Martin: I am working in medical business since 1999 and was luckily always able to invent new treatment possibilities. CMF planning software with Brainlab, intraoperative 3D imaging with Ziehm, Medical 3D printing software and services with Materialise and now re-inventing medical implant manufacturing with Kumovis. Pioneering medical technologies and the joy of growth inspired me – and still inspire me today. 

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing (bio-printing/bio-fabrication)? This can be a mentor, a patient, a celebrity, anyone basically. You can name more than one as well.

Martin: As a surgeon I thank Daniel Buchbinder who hosted the kick-off workshop for 3D planning software for CMF in New York. Florian Thieringer from Basel University also inspired me as he kept on believing in future technologies.  

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work? 

Martin: My strong belief that 3D-printed cranial implants will help patients, reduce costs, will be manufactured in regulatory boundaries and will change healthcare in near future significantly.

Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions? 

Martin: Disruptive technologies such as Kumovis printing solutions will not conquer the market automatically. Push backs are obvious and expected, will be overcome one day but are the biggest obstacles.

Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?

Martin: I believe I answered this question in 2018 and still I believe: The biggest challenge is translation from R´n´D to real application. But exactly this is one reason why I joined Kumovis: We are so close to complete this challenge and launch 3D printed cranial plates in PEEK and provide a regulatory pathway for FDA and MDR.

Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be? 

Martin: Stop global warming, ensure a peaceful life together, die happy.

Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advices you heard should they ignore? 

Martin: Whatever project you start and whatever you want to achieve: start small and grow fast.

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