How 3D Printing is Contributing to the Medical Industry
The 3D printing technology is being rapidly adapted in nearly every manufacturing sector, including the medical industry. There are various ways in which 3D printing can contribute to the medical industry; recent innovations include creating tissue and organoids, surgical tools, patient-specific surgical models and custom-made prosthetics.
3D Printing Medical Devices and Surgical Instruments
Medical devices and surgical instruments used to depend on outside printing vendors for prototypes. 3D printed tools are now much more affordable than the traditional method of producing as the production costs are notably lower. A large variety of surgical instruments including forceps, retractors, medical clamps, needle drivers, hemostats and scalpel handles have been produced by 3D printers. 3D printed tools are able to achieve higher levels of details, especially for small and precise instruments. Manufacturing these using 3D printing technology allows for specific modifications to be made based on feedback and requirements from surgeons.
Medical applications of 3D printing
3D printing for the medical industry requires digital data to be collected using medical imaging techniques such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and ultrasounds.
With 3D printing techniques, full customization of medical products and equipment can be achieved. For example, 3D printing implants and prosthetics which can bring convenience to both patients and physicians as it is easier for physicians to transfer data and gives a better personal fit for the patient. This doesn’t just speed up the process of prosthetics production for those in need, but also makes more economical.
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