3D-Printing was always expected to revolutionize manufacturing and no industry has benefited more than medicine
In recent years, 3D-printing has found a home in global university research labs and doctors’ practices. The ability to design and manufacture custom devices in just a few hours (instead of weeks) has been revolutionary to the medical community, not to mention beneficial to patients. Today, Voxel Magic would like to present the top-4 most incredible uses of 3D-Printing in medicine.
Historically, artificial limbs have been very expensive and difficult to fit, produce and modify. 3D-printing helps in two ways: First, it is much more cost-effective than traditional prosthetic production processes; Second, because 3D printing is faster than traditional methods and can be modified very easily in CAD software. Therefore, the ability to customize and re-customize parts is almost unlimited. There are even prosthetic models that can be downloaded for free. For example, University of Toronto, Autodesk Research, and CBM Canada have created printable prosthetic sockets for people in Uganda.
2) Medical Models
Preparedness is a key ingredient of success, whether it be for a 2nd grade dance recital or 20-hour open heart surgery. That’s why doctor’s everywhere have taken to 3D-printing to aid surgical preparation. First the first time ever, surgeons can cheaply and quickly scan and print their patients before surgery. Not only that, medical student can take practicing and studying various newly available medical models.
3) Medical Devices & Tools
Talk about expensive! Traditional methods drive costs. As such, they are inaccessible to much of the developing world. An amazing medical 3D printing success story happened in Haiti: an organization is printing affordable medical clamps for umbilical cords. Hospitals and doctors’ offices are also able to print everyday items like splints on an as-needed basis, which is both affordable and convenient. The biggest benefit to 3D printing medical devices and tools is that these on-demand printed medical items can be easily customized for each patient’s individual needs.
4) Dentistry & Orthodontics
For a success story, look no further than InvisAlign. Orthodontists can scan a patient’s mouth and print the plastic device that re-aligns the patient’s teeth. Everybody’s mouth is different and printing customized bleaching trays, bite guards, crowns, veneers, and inlays used to be prohibitively expensive. With 3D-printing, cost and delays are dramatically reduced. Formlabs’ new Form 2 printer is already being used successfully in dental offices.
3D-printing has already had a dramatically positive impact on the medical industry. Patients benefit from 3D-printed prosthetics and medical models. It will be fascinating to see what researchers and doctors around the world create in the future.
If you are interested in additive manufacturing for medicine, or any 3D Printing/Prototyping services
Call Voxel Magic now! (800) 239-8181
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