Additive manufacturing in healthcare offers the sector’s professionals many advantages. Firstly, 3D printing reduces the development costs and lead times for parts and devices. It is also easier and quicker to produce bespoke parts customized to the field of study and the patient pathology. It can also be used for medical experiments and to improve the quality of the final devices and proposed treatment. Furthermore, 3D technology is ideal for training students using models of defective organs or for creating transparent parts, making it easier to study the internal functioning of an organ and thereby advancing medical research.

Actors in the medical sector are putting 3D printing under the microscope!

Medical centers, pharmaceuticals companies, biotechnology companies and universities are increasingly using 3D equipment to produce their own anatomical models in order to improve their understanding of certain pathologies. They are also optimizing their treatment protocols by being able to quickly produce the parts and tools they require. Even better, they are also able to practice in advance on 3D reproductions before operating on patients. The success of 3D technology is gathering speed in the sector. This is demonstrated by a recent report showing that the number of hospitals in the US equipped with a 3D printing center increased by 3,200% between 2010 and 2016. Dentistry remains the sector that most exploits additive manufacturing, with 17% growth in 3D production between 2013 and 2019 (Source: QY Research).

The most commonly used 3D applications in the medical sector

  • Prosthetics, orthotics and implants
  • Dental trays and crowns
  • Wheelchairs
  • Customized models
  • Organ reproduction (3D printed hearts and kidneys)
  • Hair, bone, vascular networks, ossicles, lenses, etc.