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The Future of 3D Printing in Medical Industry
2018-05-04

3d printing for medical industry

The term 3D printing has ballooned to include many aspects and features of technologies and designs and is more significant and recognizable than ever before. Just as mechanical or electrical machine facilitate the transformation of raw materials into valuable assets so does 3D printing enable the customization of the product according to the customer's preference and specification.

3D printing in Medical Industry

The progress of 3D printing in the medical industry has been escalating. Potential the technology holds in the medical fields' future can be witnessed by the list of elements successfully 3D printed. Let’s analyze the current scenario:

Higher efficiency: Metallurgical devices used for surgeries can be custom printed to improve the effectiveness of the operations and minimize tissue damage.

Cost effective: As medical devices are one of the most high-priced facets of health-care, 3D printing can help lessen these expenses in a long-term by substituting traditional machines. Previously, building a prosthetic to supplant a missing leg was a costly procedure for the patients as well as the hospitals. With the advent of 3D printing, printing prosthesis will cost much lesser than former. With easy printing, surgical time and pain are decreased along with faster healing process.

Time-Saving: It allows engineers move more swiftly from conception to physical gadget and from confirmation to authorization, and then the final structure. Accessory manufacturing devices produced using 3D printers that can control the motion of other tools and provide support to it is incredibly cheaper. A registry can then save the information files required to print them again rather than original tools. The instruments can then be instantly altered if needed, for example, if the same tools are needed again for somewhat different size.

Easy Implant: It makes the actual prosthetic equipment extraordinarily convenient and efficient. With the help of imaging straight from the subject, one can produce a precise replacement of a hip or a skull implant or any other necessary replacement for missing body part - to fit better than the products made from traditional machines.

Insufficient awareness: While only visionary hospitals are using 3D models to undergo complex surgeries successfully, most of the hospitals currently have not adopted it yet.

Improvement in Medical via 3D printing

Research and Development: Hospitals are setting up 3D printing labs within their systems so that healthcare experts can consolidate the process into a regular day’s work. A doctor can view and exercise on a custom-built 3D printed prototype prior to operation. The good research will possibly give a doctor some environmental, realistic, and real idea leading to the better operational outcome.

Clinical Benefits: 3D printers will allow medical equipment producers a disinfected implant, for example, partial replacements for bones and mesh pieces, customized size, and shape for a particular patient. This reduces recovery time and minimizes cost for an overall surgical process. Few device manufacturers prepare a package with all necessary equipment like surgical tools needed for implants and hardware for a specific patient according to the size and other requirements.

Testing: One recurring problem in biomedical design is that all patients are different. The size and location of their organs, bones, blood vessels, and nerves differ. This means off-the-shelf implants have to accommodate these differences, or else custom-made versions are needed. 3D printing makes it easier to design and prototype custom versions, and soon it will be able to manufacture a wide variety of them as well.

Manufacturing: 3D can economically produce a small amount of highly valuable parts used for clinical/preclinical trials. It can also replicate curved and organically shaped complex parts that cannot be cost-effectively manufactured any different way. It can also drop the expense cost of tooling for components that are not required to be injection molded. 3D printers also give the tooling engineer an equivalent design choice to handle complicated shapes and merge the functions of various parts into a particular component. As 3D printing continues to evolve, it will yield exceptional productivity at lower costs to medical production. It will also get rid of current limitations on producing and making it extra flexible and responsive.

Marketing: 3D printed models also have useful roles to play outside of design and manufacturing. The accurate, life-sized models of anatomy and devices let companies show how new devices work at a physician’s office or in a conference room or classroom. The models can also be modified to focus on specific problems a doctor or hospital is having. The technology lets such models be made in low volumes without costly manufacturing overhead and costs. And like all 3D models, they can be stored digitally and made anywhere there’s a compatible 3D printer.

Emergency: 3D printing is a Quick-Responsive technology that can immediately adjust to its production. Thus, in the state of emergency, this method of manufacturing might propose new opportunities to cure several injuries. For example, skin 3D printer, the unique characteristic of this printer is that it doesn’t require printing the skin surface as an independent element, and will be organized into the body thereafter. (James Yoo successfully created a printer that can print skin directly over the bruises of burn victims. - Source.)

Conclusion

3D printing in medicine produces astonishing medical utilization. Indeed, 3D printing has a powerful potential to transform the pharmaceutical industry. It’s not only about the interests of personalization and customization, but also regarding the point that 3D printing can make healthcare reasonable and available to everyone. Many innovations and changes could arise in the coming years in the medical department and become mainstream.

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