How 3D Printing is Revolutionizing the Medical Industry
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How 3D Printing is Revolutionizing the Medical Industry

3D printing is revolutionizing the medical industry in several different ways. Unlike traditional forms of manufacturing, 3D printing enables the medical industry to evolve faster than ever before. This means greater flexibility of design, more adaptability, and a better remit of function. Find out below exactly how 3D printing is revolutionizing the medical industry.

Versatility of Use

3D printing can be used to create a wide variety of laboratory equipment and medical supplies. These include –

  • Implants
  • Prosthetics
  • Surgical implements
  • Bioprinting for tissues and organs

As 3D printing continues to innovate continuously, its uses are currently increasing all the time. This makes it an exciting prospect for how it can revolutionize the medical industry and patient’s lives into the future.

Fast Turnaround from Prognosis to Solution

Whereas it would usually take a substantial period to manufacture various prostheses, implants, and medical equipment, 3D printing can do much faster. This is because 3D printing extrudes various thermoplastics layer by layer through a nozzle or print head. This means greater accuracy of the result and an increase in the speed of the manufacturing process.

Low-Cost Manufacture

One of the big ways that 3D printing is helping to revolutionize the medical industry is when it comes to costs. Traditional methods of medical manufacture can be laborious and expensive. 3D printers provide high-quality medical parts and equipment at a fraction of the cost.

Moreover, 3D printing is also excellent for making parts and equipment to be sent to disadvantaged areas or countries in conflict. These locations are often most in need of items such as prosthetics.

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Traditional transport methods can also often be inaccessible, leaving communities isolated without medical help or equipment. Luckily, the low cost of 3D printing can help create a better supply for all communities worldwide, at a much lower manufacturing cost.

Training Uses

Along with making medical equipment and implements used by professionals, 3D printing also has effective training uses. This means trainee doctors and other medical professionals can learn how to carry out complex operations safely using replica 3D parts. This helps to simulate a more realistic human or animal body part, creating a more effective tool for training. Whilst many medical students still practice on 2D models or cadavers, 3D printing creates a much more accurate and better solution to simulate a realistic operating environment.

Personalization

From the patient’s point of view, one of the most revolutionary aspects of 3D printing is the opportunity for personalization. This means that patients and medical professionals can easily customize all prosthetics, for example –

  • Choosing a specific design
  • Opting for a more inclusive and appropriate skin color
  • Deciding on exactly the right size

All these aspects of personalization may seem minor, but they can transform the lives of the recipient. For example, selecting a prosthesis that closely matches their skin tone and size can make this foreign limb feel like an organic part of their body again. Again, such minor details and adjustments can be life-changing.

Benefits of 3D Printing Machines

Along with so many undeniable benefits to patients and users of 3D printed equipment and prosthetics, there are plenty of reasons why the medical industry has converted too. The reasons why 3D printers are great and easy to use include their ability to –

  • Adapt to different materials
  • Effectively build volume when printing parts
  • Easy to sterilize materials
  • HEPA filter for use even in offices
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3D printers create on-demand parts and equipment, but all printed objects can be sterilized, withstand high temperatures and be chemical resistant. 3D printers are also safe to use in office environments, so they do not just need to be consigned to a laboratory. A HEPA filter means there are no toxic fumes, even when printing many kinds of thermoplastics.

From dentures to a prosthesis, orthodontics to orthopedics, 3D printing is changing the medical industry forever. With so many new and innovative solutions to once impossibly complex problems, patients and clinics now both benefit from this ground-breaking technology. Moreover, as the time from prognosis to solution continues to shrink, 3D printing revolutionizes the medical industry.


Author Bio:

Greg Tuohy is the managing director of Docutec, a managed print service and office automation business based in Ireland. Docutec helps the healthcare sector with its business printers, document scanners, and software automation needs.

How 3D Printing is Revolutionizing the Medical Industry

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