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What are some of the major applications of 3D printing in the medical industry?

What are some of the major applications of 3D printing in the medical industry?

3D printing is not the same as it was ten years before. As it’s constantly evolving, now it can be used over different fields, and it has become quite popular because of its flexibility. 3D printing technology is quite simple, which is currently being used widely. Initially, it was present as quite expensive. However, with recent variations and improvements in technology, cheap 3D printer filament is easily available.

3D printing has improved the lives of professionals in the medical industry, enabling them to save and treat more & more patients every day. It allows professionals to tailor products based on the needs of individuals. Right from jawbone to cartilage replacement in the knee, everything’s now quite cheap and easy.

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When the application of the 3D printer comes down to the medical industry, it has been divided into four different areas. The four main uses are for replacing human organs for transplants., producing versions of surgical tools that are cheaper, speeding up the surgical procedure, and bettering the lives of people dependent on prosthetic limbs.

The history of the development of 3D printing

3D printing, otherwise popularly known as additive manufacturing, was developed first during the 1980s. In this process, a blueprint of the original subject is taken and then printed in layers to produce a brand new version of the original subject. This technology hasn’t been confined to only one industry. Instead, it has been in regular practice in so many fields, including medicine. Usually, imaging techniques like CT scans, ultrasounds, MRI scans, and X-rays are used to create the digital model and then fed to the 3D printer.

During the 1990s, it has used for the first time for medical purposes as custom prosthetics and dental implants. Eventually, the doctors evolved a miniature kidney, and now a full-fledged organ has been crafted out using a person’s cells. The year 2012 witnessed a 3D printed jaw. And since then, it has been making steady progress and is a blessing to human life.

1- Bioprinting organoids and tissues

Among different kinds of printing, one is used for bioprinting in the medical industry. Unlike other printers that use metal or plastic, bioprinters are guided by computers to layer all the living cells. This is often called as bio-ink, which layers the cells and products human-made living tissues inside a laboratory. This way, such tissues are used to mimic organs and are way much cheaper than actual human organ transplants.

Not just that, 3D printing is also being used to mimic skin grafts, which can be used for burn victims. Apart from that, the availability of cheap 3D printer filament has also contributed to its universal application. North Carolina’s Wake Forest Institute, adopted an approach in which they developed a 3D brain organoid having potential applications in disease modeling and drug discovery.

2- 3D printing prosthetics

Here, 3D printers are used to generate prosthetic limbs, customized to match the weather. Earlier, amputees used to wait for a week or even months to get prosthetics through the traditional method. In today’s world, the use of 3D printers has made the process quite faster as well as cheaper. Being cheap, it helps children who quickly outgrow and need a regular change in their prosthetic limbs

The availability of cheap 3D printer filament has contributed to its popularity in different fields. In the field of medicine, patients can now have access to the best treatments that were earlier, not an option for everyone. Also, 3D printing produces exact prosthetics of a particular patient’s limbs by taking a scan for a more natural appearance and fit.

3- 3D printed surgery preparation models

Surgeons have been using 3D printed models of organ replicas to set their hands before performing a complicated operation. This technique proves to be a great help in minimizing the trauma of the patients, as well as speeding up the procedure. In Dubai, surgeons liberally use 3D printing and have successfully operated on cerebral aneurysm patients. Through a replica of the arteries, they map out their way to navigate the blood vessels safely.

During 2018, surgeons at Belfast have practiced successfully using a model of the donor’s kidney for transplantation of a 22-year-old woman. Using the printed model, they could assess the placement and size of the cancerous cyst and the tumor, which the donor had. This way, doctors know exactly how to carry out the task when a serious case arrives. Medical students have also found a model that looks exactly the same to practice on.

4- 3D printed surgical instruments

Surgical instruments are among the important aspects of the medical industry. With the right equipment by your side, you can save a life. In this context,   3D printers produce sterile surgical tools like scalpel handles, forceps, clamps, and hemostats. Apart from providing such sterile instruments, some of them are made precise and very small using the old Japanese technique of origami.

Not only it has cheap 3D printer filament, but it also is used to operate on small regions without causing any unnecessary damage to the patient’s health. Not to forget the main benefit, that is, 3D printing costs much lower than the traditional methods of manufacturing. Researchers are working day in and day out to develop new instruments every day and make the life of doctors easier.

Conclusion

We hope the examples mentioned above are enough to convince you about 3D printing is the most disruptive technology which has the potential to alter the functioning of the clinical field, healthcare, and medicine. It makes healthcare personalized, affordable, and accessible. This technology holds the potential to revolutionize our entire society. In the field of medical, 3D printing has brought several possibilities and advantages. As it’s much cheaper than the traditional methods, more and more lives will be saved. No matter which part of society a person belongs to, he/she will have the option to opt for these cheap and faster ways of treatment. Even though there’s a long way to go, in the current scenario, 3D printing is already a boon to medical science.

Read: How 3D Printing is Transforming Jewelry Industry

If you’re looking for a dealer, who can safely deliver cheap 3D printer filament to you without fail, then MakeShaper is your one-stop solution. Whether you need filament for industry, home-printing, commercial, or medical needs, our team is willing to cater to your needs efficiently. When it comes to our filaments, you get a wide variety of configurations and colors to choose from. We understand how important your reputation is. Hence, we make sure you provide only the best quality prints to your clients. The types of filament we provide include HIPS, ABS, PLA, PETG, PVA, and much more. If you have further queries, you can contact us via mail at makeshaper@villageplastics.com, or you can call us at 1-330-753-0100. Also, you can fill up the online form available on our website.

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