The orthopedic sector has started utilizing 3D printing or additive manufacturing technology for better results during surgery.
FREMONT, CA: 3D printing technology has rapidly entered the healthcare field, and the orthopedic department is not an exception to it. It has been forecasted that in the future, the demand for the 3D implant will increase more in orthopedic sector as it will be necessary to replace parts of knees, parts of the spine, sections of skulls, hips, and ankles.
The 3D printing technology was first utilized in fields like regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. However, 3D printing in the orthopedic is at a developing stage, and it still has a long way to go. 3D printing is also known as the novel additive manufacturing technique, and it is primarily used in stomatology and orthopedics.
Prototyping to enable surgery design
The 3D images of the bones can be reconstructed with imaging techniques like MRIs and CT scans. The layered manufacturing technique (LMT) also helps to obtain the bones' prototype, which can be utilized for presentation, surgical design, and teaching.
The 3D images of the bones of the missing parts can also be mimicked or reversed with the human anatomy's symmetry or by utilizing the human anatomy data available on the database. These bones can be used during the conventional mechanical procedure for manufacturing bone prosthesis, which can be implanted into the human body. These two processes of rapid prototyping manufacturing (RPM) techniques are used during surgery design.
3D printing in the orthopedic implants
While implementing 3D printing in orthopedics, metallic implants and customized prosthesis have become the most significant direction. This is decided by the equipment, manufacturing abilities, and materials available for 3D printing. The metal materials that is commonly used for 3D printing and manufacturing are stainless steel and titanium grades.
The significant benefit of 3D printing in the orthopedic implants is the geometric freedom. Such an advantage gives a natural form to the design of the anatomical shape. 3D printing also gives a porous bone replacement frame that can be easily implemented in the implant design. It also helps a natural ingrowth of the bone and makes sure that the implant is stable.