Since these tools are not as complex or as invasive in their function as those of human organs, the additive manufacturing of surgical instruments is subject to far fewer regulatory and practical obstacles and, as such, has already been used much more widely in the health sector. While traditional manufacturing methods involve molding and re-molding a prosthesis to ensure that it fits the patient's anatomy, the additive manufacturing process allows much greater control of the final product, allows for more complex designs and makes 3D printed prostheses lighter and stronger thanks to the materials used. In addition to artificial limbs, prostheses used in facial reconstructions have also been 3D printed in recent years. Many of the same benefits offered by 3D printed prostheses also apply to orthopedic implants, medical devices manufactured to replace missing joints and bones or to support damaged bone.
However, orthopedic prostheses and implants also have many of the same drawbacks when it comes to more widespread use in the medical device industry. And while questions still remain about how common 3D printing will be in healthcare, the reimbursement policies applicable to these products and much more, these are some of the main ways in which hospitals and health systems are benefiting from existing technology and how 3D printing could transform clinical care in the future. The company stated that the fabric provided strong evidence that complete human organs could be manufactured using 3D printing technology. The biological cousin of 3D printing is bioprinting, the process of depositing living cells in specific ways to form tissues and organs.
While some 3D printing shops may offer lower prices, many of their 3D printed components may require other processes, such as wire EDM, laser cutting, Swiss turning, CNC machining, and others. In addition to the above example of pre-surgical planning at GOSH, in the United Kingdom, 3D printing has been used to produce patient-specific organ ghosts in a handful of other medical settings around the world. The 3D printing technique accelerates the process, since custom molds for transparent aligners can be manufactured directly from digital patient scans. These developments, together with the fact that medical device manufacturers are increasingly using 3D printing to reduce costs and more consistently meet supply demands, mean that more and more supplier organizations are taking a closer look at the technology.
3D printing on metal allows medical device designers to produce implants that work better, fit better and last longer for the knees, spine, skull or hips. While 3D printing presents significant opportunities for clinical innovation, many institutions face reimbursement and security issues related to the integration of rapidly evolving technology in a highly regulated field. Noble believes that 3D printing has made personalized and specific tools for each surgeon a “real and cost-effective possibility”. Jamie Bell analyzes five types of medical devices that are already being produced using 3D printing.
The SLS machine specifically requires fine tools and brushes to remove excess dust, a ball sprayer to remove fine dust, and compressed air to clean parts. For example, 3D technology has reduced the production of hearing aids from more than a week to a day. Custom 3D printed implants represent a flexible solution for difficult orthopedic cases and may create more treatment opportunities in the future. Let's discuss how 3D printing of medical devices has changed the rules of the game for precision medical device manufacturing.
The main advantage of 3D printing in the manufacture of these instruments is the fact that specific modifications can be made to the designs, often based on feedback from surgeons after a prototype has been used...