3D Printing Technology Would Be The New Game Changer For Healthcare Industry
3D printing technologies were first developed for the purpose of creating fast and cost effective prototype for the product development within industries and are called as the rapid prototyping (RP). Since then it has been evolved and widened its application from just creating a prototype to creation of the final product itself. 3D printing technology is now considered as the game changer in many fields such as healthcare, aerospace, industrial manufacturing, jewelry, and many other sectors cited to its time and cost saving benefits.
3D printing technology finds its major applications in healthcare industry; it has already being widely used in prosthetics, orthopedics, and dental implants cited to its ability to replicate the complex human organ structure with accuracy. It is observed that there are already about a million 3D printed dental implants all across the globe. Most of the dental laboratories in developed nations like the U.S. have already adopted 3D printing technologies to increase production efficiency and precision in the manufacturing. They have also started using bio-compatible materials with 3D printers so that the implants can be used efficiently without causing any side effects to the patients.
There are consistent efforts going on to make bio printing possible which would be a milestone in human evolution since this would enable to replicate the blood vessels, skin, and stem cells to manufacture various human body parts. In this context University of Toronto’s has launched its Bio Printer project which is exploring the use of 3D-printed tissue for the treatment of burned patients. In case of medical devices as well 3D printing technology is no longer a new technology since most of the hearing aids manufactured now a day are 3D printed which makes hearing aid manufacturing sector probably the major adopter of 3D printers; for instance Widex, one of the major hearing aid manufacturers in the world, has recently manufactured world’s smallest hearing aids. Tissue engineering has become extremely important to the future of medicine for many reasons. This field is increasingly adopting 3D printing since it requires the 3D scaffolds with well-defined external and internal structures. With shortage of available organs for transplantation which results into lengthy waiting lists of patients for life-saving treatments, the adoption of 3D printing in tissue engineering is significantly increasing with its ability to address issues related to rejection of donated organs. This has also resulted into increasing innovations in this field. For instance, a German company Envision TEC has launched a 3D printer called “3D-Bioplotter” that can fabricate scaffolds from a wide array of materials, from soft hydrogels over polymer melts to hard ceramics and metals.
This increasing adoption and efficiency of 3D printing technology promises the number of opportunities to all the stakeholders in this market. According to the latest market research report published by Meticulous Research® on “Global Medical 3D Printing Market Outlook: 2014-2020”, the global medical 3D printing market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 20.3% to reach $983.2 million by the end of 2020. It also elucidates and analyzes the major drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges that have a long and short-term impact on its growth across the globe.
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