Interview with Zsolt Pásztor: In Silico Simulation and 3D Printing

Zsolt Pásztor

Zsolt Pásztor is a passionate 3D printing specialist in titanium 3D Printing and surface treatment. Zsolt is co-founder and Managing Director of PREMET, a 3D-printing-focused innovative medical device producer. PREMET specializes in the manufacturing of dental products and custom-made human and veterinary implants. It puts a high emphasis on R&D, covering all steps of production, and has been involved in several international projects. PREMET pays special attention to tests and simulations, including in-silico simulations. PREMET has ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certifications. In addition to his professional activities, Zsolt plays a leading role in different organizations. He is a Community Manager at 3DHEALS, co-founder and Vice President of the Hungarian Additive Technology Association, and Leader of the “3D Printing in the Health Sector” working group of MediKlaszter, an accredited Med Tech cluster. In MediKlaszter, he also acts as Director of International Relations. Zsolt also has sound experience in preparing and implementing international R&D and capacity-building projects. Zsolt has recently spoken at our In Silico Simulation for Medtech and Biopharma event.

When was your first encounter with 3D Printing/3D technology?

Zsolt: I graduated as a Chemical Engineer and got my PhD in Chemical Process Engineering. After my PhD, I mainly worked as a consultant, focusing on the development of innovative projects and the preparation of strategic studies. In 2015, during the development of a dental sector-related project, I visited Varinex, a Hungarian company that distributes 3D printing machines. That was the first time I saw such a machine, and I was completely impressed by its operation and the complexity of objects it could produce.

What inspired you to start your journey?

Zsolt: At that time, I desired to move into manufacturing to produce tangible products and do research and development. In addition, I had the possibility of purchasing a few pieces of equipment. Due to its novelty (or novelty-feeling), capabilities, and potential, 3D Printing seemed to be a promising technology, while dentistry was a relevant sector. 

The only problem was that I did not have experience in any of them. 

After several discussions with János Kónya, whom I met while preparing the dental project, we decided to become business partners and purchase a machine capable of printing titanium and CoCr. In our journey, he motivated me a lot, introduced me to the world of dentistry, and oriented me toward person-specific maxillofacial implants. 

Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D Printing/3D technology ?

Zsolt: One of these people was Mr. Mohammad Ehteshami, who, as VP at GE Additive, gave a presentation at Formnext in 2016 on GE’s vision for additive manufacturing. The presentation that I saw on YouTube was very inspiring.

I participated in the poster competitions held by the Digital Dentistry Society last year. Dr. Francesco Mangano, who is currently the organization’s president, gave very inspiring and motivating feedback.

What motivates you the most for your work? 

Zsolt: PREMET, I am the Managing Director of, is a titanium 3D printing focused custom-made medical device and fine-finished product manufacturer. We specialize in the development and manufacturing of custom-made human and veterinary implants and dental frameworks. Our activity – certified by ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 – covers all significant steps of manufacturing: design, 3D printing, heat and surface treatment, including in-vitro and in-vivo trials and in-silico simulations.

My major motivation is to support professionals in providing better care for patients by exploiting the potential of 3D Printing. This means producing products that make it possible for professionals, like dentists and surgeons, to improve or even change patients’ quality of life.

Over the years, I have placed increasing emphasis on raising awareness and promoting the technology by participating in the work of different organizations, like 3DHEALS as a Community Manager or MediKlaszter as the leader of the “3D Printing in the Health Sector” Working Group.

An ultimate motivation is to explore possibilities and push the limits. A few years ago, we started to manufacture fine-finished products. In the framework of a project, we collaborated with the Belgian artist Nick Ervinck and produced a few artistic pieces, like a trophy called Lunotriano, for the Hungarian Digital Dentistry Association.

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

Zsolt: One of them was related to the porosity of the printed parts. In the framework of a project related to the aerospace sector, our task was to manufacture test pieces. In the project, we were pushed to substantially decrease the porosity of the pieces from about 0.1% % (which is a good result) to 0.01% and even lower. Finally, by improving the protocol of several steps, we could reach 0.01% and even lower. 

The other is related to the surface treatment of custom-made implants. In a recent project, a prototype of a surface treatment robot was developed together with a Hungarian company, LASRAM Engineering, to ensure uniform blasting of the surface. 

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

Zsolt: Manufacturing custom-made titanium implants have several big challenges. Some of them are linked to 3D Printing itself, like printing the parts in constant quality. Others are linked to surface treatment, like ensuring uniform blasting of the surface, cleanliness, and appropriate osseointegration of the implants or replacing strong acids with greener solutions.

There are also challenges linked to the implants’ proper design and mechanical characteristics in which in-silico simulation might be a valuable tool.

If you were granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be? 

Zsolt: The medical sector requires a lot of investments. My first wish is to have enough funding to realize our plans and ideas. 

This is a multidisciplinary activity that requires the collaboration of several experts, teams, and companies. A second wish is to find the appropriate partners and develop mutually beneficial partnerships with them.

During the preparation of my PhD, one of my professors said that it was still better to be healthy and rich than ill and poor. Last but not least, I wish good health not only for myself but also for those I am in contact with.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice have you heard that they should ignore? 

Zsolt: The bad advice I heard was to consider everyone’s opinion, i.e., to please everyone.

My advice is to follow your dream in a way you think you can be proud of. And be proud of what you do. 

What’s your favorite book you read this year and why? Alternatively, what’s your favorite book of all time you read and why?

Zsolt: In the last few years, I read a lot of books on how to create a positive and inspiring company culture. My favorite books read this year are Traci Fenton – Freedom at Work: The Leadership Strategy and Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer – No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention.

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