The medical industry has been evolving with the advancement in technology and facilities. You can now get artificial legs, organs, and necessary implants installed without a single worry! Recently the importance of 3D Printing is being tremendously recognized in the medical industry. The medical industry needs to evolve rapidly with the augmentation of medical devices so that more lives can be saved and this is what is being realized with 3D Printing.
With 3D Printing, you can create various surgical cutting equipment, prosthetics, and replicas of organs and human bones. A large number of cranial, or knee or spinal implants that adhere to Food and Drug Administration are being built by 3D Printing. It is quite amazing to know that 3D Printing has been used in generating 100,000 hip cups i.e., acetabular implants till now from which nearly 50,000 have been instilled into patients. Thus, it can be understood that, 3D Printing allows you to create customized medical devices that are essential for the medical industry. Let us see how 3D Printing can be useful in the medical industry.
3D Printing addressing the needs of the medical industry:
- Tailored parts
3D Printing helps you to produce customized prosthetic and orthotic medical devices that are customized to an individual’s (patient’s) anatomy, thereby reducing the dependency on standard implants sizes and shapes, which may not be a perfect fit for every patient.
- Creating complex organic shapes
With conventional manufacturing processes, creating complex organic structures was really hard. Thanks to 3D Printing technology, the scope to produce such organic shapes is quite huge. A large number of narrow scaffolds can be conveniently manufactured that adhere to an individual’s bone contour or the absorbent metal structures. Be it facial bones or ulna, you can specifically design and manufacture the parts that were not possible with traditional manufacturing.
- Decreased lead time
It is for sure that any medical part created in-house or outsourced from elsewhere will involve high lead-time and increased costs. With 3D Printing, this issue is easily averted because it has the capability to manufacture and iterate faster. This will help the designers and engineers to create designs quickly and generate realistic prototypes thus decreasing the time to market. Within a few hours, you can redesign a particular medical component that is based upon a surgeon’s feedback. He can then make use of it to generate a new prototype print for testing. During the process of completion of the final design, earlier 3D Printed medical components can be used to reinforce clinical trials.
- Reduced expenses
3D Printing is associated with low volume production implying that while the effectiveness escalates, the cost is highly reduced. This means of production is highly specific and is thus devoid of any costly tools or machining activities. The 3D Printing technologies use only the actual amount of material needed, thereby diminishing the chances of wastes and decreasing the associated material costs. Additionally, you have the opportunity to create complex, tailored parts through this technology at a decreased cost.
- Creating prints of varied materials
Some of the 3D Printing technologies have the capability to generate a single component out of multiple materials. This can be done in Polyjet technology through a combination of Ultra Detail Plastic material and Tango-Elastic material in 3D Printing. We can now create educational models which exhibit different body parts such as bones, organs etc. that can create a better comprehension of the patient’s body structure. It can be used in surgery or for educational uses.