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June 12, 2003

Hearing aid maker signs up for SLA

From: Plastics and Rubber Weekly, UK - Jun 12, 2003

By Lou Reade

12 June 2003 – Danish hearing aid manufacturer Widex has begun to make its products using sterolithography (SLA).

The technique, which is more commonly used as a prototyping method, will allow Widex to create custom manufactured hearing aid shells for its ITE ('in the ear') products.

"Each hearing aid user needs a custom-made shell for proper fit and function, and that's where our digital manufacturing solution comes in," said Brian Service, chief executive of 3D Systems, which supplied the SLA equipment.

3D says that Widex is the sixth major hearing aid manufacturer to order its Viper SLA system. Widex has ordered five Viper systems for its Danish operation.

There is a growing market for hearing aids, according to 3D, which claims that of the 29 million people with hearing difficulties, only 22% use a hearing aid.

© EMAP Maclaren 2003