One of the key industries to successfully leverage the advantages of 3D printing is the medical and dental industry. In an IDTechEx Research report–3D Printing in the Medical and Dental Industry 2019 – 2029, 3D printing in the medical and dental industry is forecast to be worth more than $8.1 billion by 2029.
3D printing in such applications as hearing aids, Invisalign aligners, and prosthetic limbs leverage this technology’s ability for mass customization from 3D imaging data. Personalization is particularly important to medical devices to be worn by a patient for extended time, as it improves patient comfort, and with that, adherence to the treatment.
No manufacturing process in the medical sector has been as disrupted by 3D printing as that of the hearing aid. 3D printed hearing aids are made with digital precision, an improvement over the lengthy hand-crafting process that sometimes resulted in pieces that were not perfectly fitted. This is important where less than a millimeter of difference can lead to discomfort for the wearer. Adoption of 3D printing has not only streamlined, it has enhanced the manufacturing process.
Given these benefits, 3D printing is also gaining popularity in the field of dentistry, and is emerging as a method of manufacture for other medical devices where customization is key to improved patient comfort and improved therapeutic outcomes.
3D printing improves surgical outcomes
3D printing is also used extensively in surgical procedures, whether in the creation of patient-specific 3D models for teaching, planning and visualization, intraoperative surgical guides, disposable surgical instrumentation, or custom plates, implants, valves, and stents to be implanted into the patient. 3D printing advances surgical standards and improves efficiency for better surgical outcomes for the patient. 3D printed implants are durable, lightweight and customized to fit the patient for better functional and aesthetic outcomes.
3D printing will provide personalized medicine
The range of applications is not limited to medical devices or surgery. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are exploring 3D printing for patient-specific pills. Personalized medication is especially promising in disrupting the way we treat chronic conditions, by helping patients streamline the number of pills that they must take, and by creating patient-specific dosages that will limit unwanted side effects. Moreover, as the development of 3D bioprinting continues to evolve, there is a potential for the implantation of personalized organs as part of regenerative medicine.
3D Printing in the Medical and Dental Industry 2019 – 2029
IDTechEx analysis of 3D printing and 3D bioprinting technologies, as well as 3D printing materials and 3D printing software, is provided in context of medical and dental applications.
The report is organized by the following topics:
– Surgical tools, guides, and models
– Implantable devices
– Dental tools, models, and prosthetics
– Orthoses, protheses and other medical devices
– Living tissues
Each stand-alone chapter includes the motivations and restraints of adopting 3D printing, analysis of commonly used 3D printing technologies and 3D printing materials, detailed applications and case studies, and a discussion of specific regulatory concerns.