Medical 3D Printing

Medical 3D Printing


3D Printing

3D printing, a popular term for what is now known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to various processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object. In additive manufacturing processing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create the object. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced from digital model data 3D model or other electronic data source such as an Additive Manufacturing File (AMF) file.

Futurologist Jeremy Rifkin claimed that 3 Dimensions printing or AM signals the beginning of a third industrial revolution, succeeding the production line assembly that dominated manufacturing starting in the late 19th century.

The term 3D printing has its origin sense,  in reference to a process that deposits a binder material onto a powder bed with inkjet printer heads layer by layer. More recently, the term is being used in popular vernacular to encompass a wider variety of additive manufacturing techniques. United States and global Technical standards use the official term additive manufacturing for this broader sense. ISO/ASTM52900-15 defines seven categories of AM processes within its meaning: Binder Jetting, Directed Energy Deposition, Material Extrusion, Material Jetting, Powder Bed Fusion, Sheet Lamination and Vat Photopolymerization.



3D printing has been used to print patient specific implant and device for medical use. Successful operations include a titanium pelvis implanted into a British patient, titanium lower jaw transplanted to a Belgian patient, and a plastic tracheal splint for an American infant. The hearing aid and dental industries are expected to be the biggest area of future development using the custom 3D printing technology. In March 2014, surgeons in Swansea used 3D printed parts to rebuild the face of a motorcyclist who had been seriously injured in a road accident. Research is also being conducted on methods to bio-print replacements for lost tissue due to arthritis and cancer3D printing technology can now be used to make exact replicas of organs. The printer uses images from patients’ MRI or CT scan images as a template and lays down layers of rubber or plastic.


About Areti Vassou

Digital Strategy Director. Make Ideas Happen @ Digital Media, Research, Social Media Strategy, Web Design, Digital Copywriting & Digital Graphic Design.