Imagine trying to piece together a jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the visual is? That is what the medical industry was like before the application of additive manufacturing or what is commonly referred to as 3D printing.
Additive manufacturing may be new but it is dynamic in the world of medicine. A prosthetics company can design a limb to match the body anatomy of a person with an amputation. A surgical instrument can be customized for a particularly complex procedure. A prototype of the tiny rib cage of a newborn can be created to practice on. And perhaps, in the near future, organs will be 3D printed and there will be no more waiting period for those in need. The possibilities are endless.
One of the primary industry focus areas is medical manufacturing. Dental laboratories and hearing aid manufacturing reap the maximum benefits, though 3D printing is favoring the operating table too. Additive manufacturing machines produce parts like forceps, hemostats and clamps that end users can hold to get a sense of the feel, size, shape, weight and function.
What would take months to manufacture once upon a time, takes only a few hours at present. Additive manufacturing results in faster decisions because of fewer design iterations. We know that time saved is money saved but in the medical industry, time saved is often life saved.
The changing face of education in healthcare is also thanks to 3D printing. Innovation labs in universities across the world provide students with prototypes to practice on. Tailored healthcare solutions are the future. Additive manufacturing prepares you for what you’re going to find, no matter how complicated it is. Once you know the big picture, it’s easier to solve the jigsaw puzzle.
Experts at Additive Accelerator can help additive manufacturing companies in the medical industry identify the most scalable and profitable applications.