Utilizing additive manufacturing (AM) in the medical field, doctors can save the lives of patients with the 3D printed models of sterile surgical instruments, prosthetics, and organs in need.
FREMONT, CA: The potential of additive manufacturing (AM) in the medical industry is unbelievable, and the technology is regarded as a “game-changer” for its ability to advance medicine through new product development and manufacturing techniques. This technology will indeed impact every part of the human body. The implications of 3D additive manufacture are not just limited to a few medical devices, but everything from orthopedic and cranial implants to surgical instruments, dental restorations, and external prosthetics. The method bridges the gap between medicine, engineering, and manufacturing by facilitating collaboration that accelerates development and results.
Specifically, personalized medical devices can create the most exceptional opportunity in additive manufacturing. It offers numerous benefits for the patients, where it enhances patient outcomes by newly designed devices that could not be manufactured using existing subtractive methods. Some of the notable applications include improving flow characteristics of cardiovascular devices and enhancing hard and soft tissue integration of musculoskeletal reconstructive implants. Also, the technology can assist surgeons through aids that help to perform more precise and accurate surgical resection and device placement. Using 3D printing, sterile surgical instruments such as hemostats, forceps, scalpel handles, and clamps can be produced. Here, the production costs are significantly lower.
Integrating AM with other Industrial Digitalised Technologies (IDTs) such as virtual and augmented reality, robotics, intelligent automation, and artificial intelligence can significantly improve its current benefits in the MedTech sector. Many initiatives are already integrating patient imaging, AI-based anatomic modeling, and segmentation, building personalized implants to fulfill unique and individual patient needs and, using AR and robotics to aid surgeons in placing an anatomically shaped implant with incredible precision.
AM can also bring about other economic and societal benefits, including the reduction of CO2 emissions, improved health and safety of manufacturing environments, and create new high-quality jobs. The technology enables rapid and cost-effective production of specialized surgical instruments, medical devices, and implants.