3d printing is an additive manufacturing process or technology that generates physical models from digital files. theoretically using 3d printing any complex part can be manufactured which is a great advantage in healthcare industries.
- Help pharmaceutical companies create specific drugs
- Enabling rapid production of medical implants
- changing the way that doctors and surgeons plan procedures
How 3d printing works in the healthcare ?
manufacturing process in 3d printing is always the same, we have only five steps to follow to get the physical model. however generating the digital file depends on application
let's see this five steps with respect to medical 3d printing
- Selecting an anatomical target area
- CT/MRI scanning of the target area
- getting output file in form of sequence of images, commonly known file format is Dicom
- converting DICOM to STL FORMAT
- STL File optimization or mesh correction for the final print
- selecting 3d printer and material
- slicing final STL file and generating g code
- sending g code file to the printer
- final print validation and quality control
Requirements Necessary For 3D Printing In Healthcare
3D printing enable the users to have prosthetic and orthotic devices custom made to suit the patient.
Instead of manufacturing a large number of identical parts which may or may not be perfect for the patient's application.
Manufacturing Lead Time
Instruments used by surgeons and various medical devices that are used in the field of health care have to be accurate and precise. it is therefore very essential to have a fool proof manufacturing technology for such application.
Using traditional manufacturing methods the time taken from ordering the part to delivering it is very long , sometimes it takes days.
But with Additive manufacturing , it takes only a few hours to get the part ready to use.
Another advantage is the feedback loop is much smaller since , any changes given for feedback can immediately be updated and a newer , better part can be produced in no time.
With more and more prototyping , generally the cost of tooling , labour and chances for human error rise.
This is a setback .
To overcome this , we can make use of 3D printing as the model can visually be seen before being printed , and any changes needed can be made.
The reduced tooling cost , material wastage cost and labour cost , make 3D printing very economical for manufacturing healthcare equipment.
Materials used for making equipment in healthcare field need to be sterilizable, and 3D printing offers materials like PEEK and Ultem which are easy to be sterilized.
Conventional methods fail to produce parts with the same level of dimensional accuracy , strength and finish when compared to 3D printing.
It is therefore only obvious that we make use of 3D printing to get our parts manufactured .
Role Of 3d Printing In The Medical Field
- The 3d printing technology allows providing surgeons a physical 3d model of the desired patient anatomy that could be used to accurately plan the surgical approach
- Modeling custom prosthetics or surgical tools based on patient-specific anatomy
- 3d printing can be used to manufacture custom implements or surgical guides and instruments
- 3d printing also allows the modeling of implantable tissue
- synthetic skin for transplanting
- replicating heart valves using a combination of cell and biomaterial to control the valve's stiffness
- replicating human ears.
- 3d printing of drugs consists, printing the powdered drugs layer to make it dissolve faster than average pills.
Through the blog we have strived to get across the benefits of using 3D printing in the healthcare industry.We can see how unique and practical 3D can be in manufacturing complex parts with such high accuracy.
Finally we took a look at how 3D printing is currently being used in the Healthcare industry.