In many hospitals, surgeons use 3D representations of the patient's anatomy to practice procedures before surgery, and 3D printers can be used to customize parts of the body, such as knee implants. The ability to visualize and explore complex anatomy as a real three-dimensional object allows medical professionals to afford decision-making support that was not available before. In a clinical setting, 3D printed models provide an opportunity to increase understanding of anatomical and pathological structures. The models serve as practical tools for testing the placement of implants and other medical devices, and for predicting surgical activities.
Advances, such as multicolor and multi-material printing, can also help to better simulate the surgical environment for pre-surgical planning and intraoperative reference. These models offer a dynamic complement to on-screen displays to build trust in healthcare decisions. The biggest advantage that 3D printers offer in medical applications is the freedom to produce tailor-made medical products and equipment. 3 For example, using 3D printing to customize prostheses and implants can offer great value for money to both patients and doctors.
3 In addition, 3D printing can produce custom-made templates and accessories for use in operating rooms, 4 Tailor-made implants, accessories and surgical tools can have a positive impact in terms of the time required for surgery, the patient's recovery time and the success of surgery or implantation, 4 It is also expected that 3D printing technologies will eventually allow the customization of dosage forms, release profiles and drug delivery for each patient. 5.FDM is the most used form of 3D printing among consumers, driven by the advent of 3D printers for amateurs. The NIH 3D Print Exchange is a free online resource for sharing medical and scientific 3D printing files and tutorials. From surgical planning models to 3D printed vasculature and bioreactors, read on to discover five ways in which 3D printing is taking off in the healthcare industry and why many medical professionals are excited about the potential of 3D printing in the medical field.
The most popular medical 3D printing technologies include stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) for plastic parts, and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) and selective laser fusing (SLM) for metals. Health professionals, hospitals and research organizations around the world use 3D printed anatomical models as reference tools for preoperative planning, intraoperative visualization, and sizing or pre-adjusting medical equipment for routine and highly complex procedures, which have been documented in hundreds of publications. In this report, learn how Formlabs Medical helps medical device companies bring digital manufacturing to their facilities, and get inspired by the examples of four companies currently creating innovative devices using 3D printing. While the bioprinting of fully functional internal organs, such as the heart, kidneys and liver, still seems futuristic, hybrid 3D printing techniques are advancing at a very rapid pace.
Anatomical models that are printed in 3D allow surgeons to plan the operation efficiently and establish better treatment solutions, reduce the duration of the operation and improve the research and training of medical students. 3D models, which can be multi-part, are converted into a series of surface meshes and are prepared for 3D printing by adding connectors and information about the color of the surface. For medical device manufacturers and research-based healthcare activities, medical 3D printing can provide an economical tool for making progress in iterative design or process improvements because of its ability to create rapid prototypes. SLS 3D printing is ideal for robust and functional prototypes and end-use parts, such as prostheses and orthopedic appliances.
With Draft Resin, Formlabs' SLA printers are also the fastest options for printing large prototypes in 3D, up to 10 times faster than FDM...