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Startup Blends 3D Printing Open-Ecosystem and Clinical Expertise

In 2012, surgeon brothers Alan BC Dang, M.D., and Alexis BC Dang, M.D., started working with 3D printing. In the short time since then, they’ve gone all-in on additive manufacturing, starting multiple programs at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the university’s VA Medical Center, as well as serving as founding members and co-Chief Medical Officers of the new company, PrinterPrezz. In the course of a day, their 3D printing efforts touch patients, surgeons, students, device companies, contract manufacturers and service providers.

What entices them about 3D printing? “It makes our lives easier and our patients’ lives better,” Dr. Alan Dang said. “Innovative ideas can reach the market more quickly and technologies that enhance safety, performance, ergonomics and efficiency are all welcome.”

We came across Dr. Alan Dang, a spine surgeon, and Dr. Alexis Dang, a sports medicine surgeon, when PrinterPrezz came out of stealth in December 2018. The company was founded by the surgeons along with its Chief Executive Officer, who comes from the semiconductor industry, and Chief Operating Officer, who has a background in big tech, including Apple.

PrinterPrezz has an interesting open-ecosystem business model and collaborates across the supply chain with companies like GE Additive, Materialise, nTopology, Renishaw and SI-BONE out of its facility in Fremont, California.

How does the company’s structure work? What is the future of 3D printing in orthopedics? We asked Dr. Alan Dang for his perspective.