Category Archives: 3D printers

What can 3D printing do for the medical device industry?

In industries all across the globe, 3D printers are getting attention for what they’re able to accomplish and how they seem to redefine what is possible. It is in the medical device world that 3D printed solutions have had perhaps the biggest impact.

Here are just a few ways 3D printing solutions have improved health care for consumers:

* Customization. Perhaps the strongest attribute of 3D printed products is their ability to support customization. By using bio-compatible and/or drug-contact materials, these printers can create medical devices perfectly designed to meet the needs of a certain individual. The printers can also be used to produce multiple individualized items at the same time, improving efficiency and ensuring that every device produced is a direct replica of the one that came before it.

* Quicker lead times. Dental offices are already using 3D printing technology to improve patient care. Today the denist can easily scan the patient’s mouth to obtain precise data. This data is then sent to the lab where the team can analyze it and immediately begin to create the necessary components for the patient. In some instances, this technology is being used to develop surgical drill guides to help dentists perform implant procedure for patients.

* Increased options. Perhaps no industry has benefited more from 3D printing thus far than the hearing-aid industry. 3D printers allow for the creation of numerous identical models, allowing patients to choose a hearing aid based not only on fit but color as well.

These are just a few of the ways health-care providers are using the medical devices created by 3D printers to improve patient care. As the technology continues to develop, you can expect the applications to increase as well. To find the right medical device solutions for your practice, visit today.

How 3D printing could make for inexpensive medical devices

A layering process builds objects from the base up until the job is complete. From clothing to mechanics, nearly anything can be created using a 3D printer. 3D printing has made the production of numerous objects far more accessible than they may have been in the past. Many items that you may have never guessed are being printed with this technology, such as medical implants, jewelry, shoes designed for individual feet, lampshades, racing-car parts and cell phones. Even the biotech industry is involved now, and it has a promising future building organs and tissues.

With a quick, automated way to build products from the ground up, the production process costs far less, resulting in a much more affordable end product. While 3D printing has been around for quite some time, it was formerly used mainly in industrial settings. Like all technology though, as hardware gets smaller, more affordable and easier to use, the tech spreads to other industries.

The medical device industry has quickly jumped aboard, looking to maximize the benefits of 3D printers. There is still a long road ahead for the industry, but the beginning of the adventure looks very promising. Using this type of technology, customizing a medical device or implant has become much more accessible for manufacturers. Certainly mass production has its benefits, but the real win is in being able to fit a product to an individual flawlessly. No more adjusting an uncomfortable hearing aid, for example. The patient will have a perfect fit that slides right in and stays put.

Because printing enable companies to produce this type of customization on a more scalable level, it makes the end result more economically viable. If a company needs a specialized part, it would be cheaper and quicker to have the part printed locally or in-house instead of ordering one from a supplier.