3D printing in the medical device value chain: 5 key points

Shayna Korol -   Print  |

Physicians and medical device manufacturers can utilize 3-D printing for a variety of purposes, according to a Machine Design article.

Here are five uses for 3-D printing throughout the medical device value chain.

1. Medical research and development: 3-D printing is also known as rapid prototyping. It can also enable biomedical engineers to build functional parts for testing.

2. Preclinical testing: 3-D printing allows for the creation of patient-specific designs.

3. Manufacturing: 3-D printing can make low-volume, high-value parts for clinical trials and pilot commercial launches. For housings and complex shaped implants, it can replicate curved and organically shaped parts and may also reduce or eliminate expensive tooling for parts that do not need to be injection molded.

4. Medical marketing and education: new devices can be demonstrated on a 3-D printed anatomical model, which can be produced anywhere there is a 3-D printer.

5. Clinical procedures: physicians can creat 3-D printed models based on a patient's specific anatomy. 3-D printers allow medical device manufacturers to package sterilized implants, such as partial bone replacements and mesh patches, which are made to be patient-specific.

More articles on surface technology:

Nanovis launches FortiCore PLIF after 2,000 successful FortiCore implantations: 4 insights

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