The medical industry depends on constant innovation and improvement. Doctors, surgeons and nurses around the world look to give their patients the best possible care with cutting-edge tools and technologies. 3D printers are in the prime position to provide both doctors and patients with a better experience. Additive manufacturing helps medical equipment manufacturers bring more complex devices to the market faster and cheaper.
3D Printing in the Healthcare & Medical Industries
Streamline prototyping to get medical devices to market faster
Create intricate models to guide medical operations
Customize prosthetics and orthotics for a perfect fit
Produce use-ready parts and components in less than an hour
Healthcare is a complex industry with many separate but connected specialized fields. 3D printing can improve processes and workflows across the board while simultaneously lowering costs. With 3D printers, medical professionals can provide better and faster care and save lives.
Better Treatment, Better Equipment, Lower Costs
Healthcare is a time-sensitive field — the faster new tools and processes get to doctors, the sooner they can improve patients’ lives. 3D printing allows medical device manufacturers, hospitals, and other healthcare providers to produce prototypes and functional parts in a matter of hours.
Cut Lead Times
3D printers consume only a fraction of the material that traditional manufacturing methods do while offering a high degree of reliability and repeatability. Medical manufacturers can print more parts at a lower cost. These savings can then be passed on to patients.
Every human being is different and one-size-fits-all solutions are few in medicine. Manufacturers and doctors can easily modify CAD files to produce tools, implants, and other appliances that fit their patients perfectly, improving care quality and patient comfort.
Customize Medical Appliances
Traditional manufacturing methods come with inherent limitations in the shapes they can create. 3D printers can produce complex geometries that are utterly impossible for conventional methods, like latticed or bone-like structures and interlocking components.
Design Complex Tools
3D printers support a wide range of materials, from medical-grade, biocompatible soft plastics to advanced engineering thermoplastics, like PEEK. Explore different materials and produce parts and tools for multiple applications on a single machine.
Design Complex Tools
How 3D Printers Help Healthcare Professionals Treat Patients
Additive manufacturing is a versatile technology that can benefit medical professionals in all fields, from appliance manufacturing to the doctor’s office. Thanks to constant technological advancements, medical manufacturers and healthcare providers alike are increasingly adopting 3D printers for a wide range of use cases.
Medical Device Prototyping
3D printing used to be known simply as “rapid prototyping.” It’s an ideal tool for quickly producing accurate prototypes to get new medical tools and products to the market faster.
Additive manufacturing technologies like stereolithography (SLA) are capable of both incredibly fast print speeds and very high detail accuracy. You can produce intricately detailed demonstration and test models from lifelike medical grade materials. Your prototypes will demonstrate exactly what the product looks like and how it’ll work.
Doctors and patients stand to benefit, too. With a shorter development cycle and time-to-market, they can provide and get better thanks to the increased availability of high-quality tools.
Neucin Design Speeds Up Innovation with 3D Printing
Neucin Design is a UK-based producer of medical and life science products. The company has used additive manufacturing in its design processes from the beginning. However, it relied on FDM printers that couldn’t produce the detail quality it needed.
Neucin decided to swap to Formlabs SLA 3D printers. Since the change, the company has significantly reduced lead times, lowered development costs, and improved its products with the expansive material library that includes biomedical materials.
“The Formlabs SLA printers have allowed us to test our products as close as possible to the final materials that we will be using to get an accurate representation of what they will be like. We can print with a wide range of materials — from Tough 2000, which is like ABS, to elastic and biomedical components,” said Henry Verity, Neucin Design development engineer.
The high accuracy of 3D printers allows doctors to produce highly detailed medical and surgical models. Combined with 3D scanners, you can print and produce precisely accurate models and representations of patients’ bodies, both inside and outside.
With accurate medical models, you can plan treatments, surgeries, and other procedures to reduce operation time and improve the quality of care. They also help design customized supports or prosthetics. The models are useful in education as well, as they give future medical professionals a detailed look at human anatomy.
Jefferson Health Enhances Patient Care with 3D Models
Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University provide both healthcare services and education in Philadelphia, USA. It uses Ultimaker 3D printers to produce high-detail medical models for a multitude of purposes.
The accurate models help Jefferson Health’s doctors and surgeons plan complex procedures. In one case, they used a 3D-printed model to prepare for a challenging C-section operation. The models also improve patient communication while helping medical students visualise the challenges ahead of them.
“When we introduce these models to the patients, their eyes get big and they ask a lot of questions. It helps them to understand what the complexity of their case really is. It’s just so much better to have the patient on the same page and these models really help bring that reality to them,” said Dr. Amy Mackey, Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Abington Hospital.
Prosthetics & Orthotics
Prosthetics and orthotics are vital tools for helping patients recover the use of partially or totally impaired limbs — or to replace entirely missing limbs. 3D printers make it possible to customize prosthetics precisely to the wearer’s body. As a result, the appliances will be more comfortable and last longer.
3D printing can also significantly lower the cost of prosthetics, which is a valuable benefit for low-income patients or for doctors working in developing countries. Finally, 3D printers can manufacture prosthetics and orthotics very fast, so patients don’t have to wait to improve their lives.
A Custom Swim Fin Helps Teen Recover from a Stroke
At only the age of 16, Pedro — an athletic youth from Barcelona, Spain — suffered a stroke that left the right side of his body paralyzed. After a lengthy rehabilitation, he can now move again. But his right hand still doesn’t function correctly, making it difficult for him to swim.
Polytechnic University of Catalonia’s CIM centre used a BCN3D Sigma 3D printer to print a fully customized swim fin for Pedro. Within just four weeks, the developers went through 10 functional prototypes at a cost of only about £80. Thanks to the fin, Pedro swims again and has seen a much faster recovery than anticipated.
Medical Tools & Appliances
In a health emergency, getting the necessary tools and equipment is of paramount importance. 3D printing allows medical professionals to produce the appliances and parts they need at record speeds to address time-sensitive situations.
Depending on the technology and material, 3D printers can produce fully functional, end-use-ready parts in a matter of hours — or even faster. As a result, you can provide high-quality care fast knowing that you’ll always have the equipment you need at hand on demand.
Maria Vittoria Hospital Produces Oxygen Tube Connectors During Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic hit Italy hard, and the Maria Vittoria hospital was facing a disaster. The hospital had run out of connectors that attach oxygen tubes to breathing masks. The shortage was putting patients’ lives at risk.
Maria Vittoria turned to 3D Systems for help. Thanks to the 3D Systems Figure 4 3D printer, Maria Vittoria had a use-ready test piece in only eight hours. With the machine, the hospital can now produce eight connector pieces in only 30 minutes.
Why Solid Print?
With your purchase from Solid Print3D, you are not only paying for the hardware, but the world-class support and training that we provide is made accessible to you. Whatever your requirement, we, as a leading UK reseller will aim to support you in the operation of your new machine.
World Class Support
At Solid Print, we pride ourselves on our honest, impartial advice and best-in-class solutions.
Our friendly support team are always on hand to listen and understand your exact requirements before we offer any solution. Solid Print support is provided by our own support engineers who are trained on all of our machines.
We work alongside our sister business Solid Solutions, the UK’s largest Solid Works reseller, offering seamless CAD to 3D Print support.
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