Imagine creating a bone with a 3D printer that could then be placed into the human body as a replacement. While we aren’t there quite yet, 3D printing, an additive manufacturing form that creates 3D objects by layering material, is gaining traction in the healthcare industry. 3D printers are being used to make a variety of medical devices that can be produced efficiently and quickly.
“We’ve put manufacturing inside the hospital. The hospital does not make implants but can simulate body parts to help surgeons decide how to do an operation, or can make guides for cutting and drilling during surgery,” said Mayo Clinic radiologist, Jonathan Morris.
As 3D printing technology evolves, doctors are expected to be able to create stents, prosthetics, and costly materials on site. 3D printed medical devices are custom made for the patient, suggesting better outcomes. Insight Partners, a market research firm, predicts the healthcare market for 3D printing could expand at an annual growth rate of 11.7% from 2016 to 2024. The 3D printing medical device market was valued at $412.2 million in 2015.
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