3D printers help to plan operations

One fruitful application of 3D printers in medicine is medical imaging. Medical imaging is one of the pillars of successful medical processes: It contributes to both training of future doctors and preparation to actual operations.

 

Though already very useful, 2D medical images provide scarce visualisation, and even well-rendered 2D images cannot represent an actual human part. Additive manufacturing technologies help in resolving this problem, providing professionals with 3D medical images, which look realistic, mimicking human organs in all required dimensions. These organs might be used for proportional procedures, i.e. in discussing potential performance during the operation, post operational evaluations as a model of what had been before, and for communication with patients.

 

The possibility to have a 3D visualisation instead of a 2D picture increases overall accuracy and effectiveness of all phases of an operational process. Being more detailed than 2D pictures, 3D printed body parts might become a future of the modern medicine.

3D printers help in education of future doctors

3D printed organs, besides being applicable for planning of operations, are also useful for education of future doctors. A 3D printed organ might be hollow or made of flexible materials, which increases its similarity to actual human parts.

 

Such realistic phantoms are powerful substitutes for animal organs – although trainings with animal organs used to be an important source of skills, it is not as accurate as working with “actual” human parts. Education with application of 3D printed organs increases quality of skills that future doctors obtain during their training, and consequently will lead to excellence in medical treatment of patients.

With 3D printers it is possible to print drugs

Another application of 3D printers in medicine, perhaps unexpected, is production of drugs. With 3D printers it is possible to control for a precise level of an active substance within the pill, which might help in providing personal treatments for every patient.

 

The most sensitive this topic is with marijuana-based drugs, which might require a specific dosage of active elements in order to maximize the positive effect and minimize the negative effect, developing more individualized treatment for each person. Recent development of a way of 3D printing marijuana contributes to the further development of printing drugs.

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3D printers could print medical and laboratory equipment

Another application that indirectly contributes to the medical development is 3D printing of medical and laboratory equipment. Plastic parts of such equipment might be printed with a 3D printer, which significantly reduces costs and decreases time loses on waiting for a new medical device from external suppliers. It makes the process of manufacturing medical equipment easier as well as its further application, increasing availability of this equipment, and even contributing to possibility to provide low-income areas with printed medical equipment.

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3D printers allow to print prosthetics

Of course, it is not possible to avoid one of the most well-known applications of 3D printers in medicine - printing of prosthetics. Characteristics of 3D printers provides users with freedom to choose various designs, forms, sizes, and colors of prostheses – which makes each printed piece very personalised. Increased availability of 3D printers contributes to further increase in availability of prosthetics and their lower costs.

 
Previously fractured femur scan and 3D printed Previously fractured femur scan and 3D printed

3D printers are the future of medicine

Besides bioprinting, there are numerous advantageous potential applications of 3D printers in medicine, which eventually help people. Sometimes indirect, as contribution to education of future doctors, sometimes direct, as printing of drugs and prosthetics, 3D prints in medicine contribute to increasing of quality of life. In the end, FDM printers will become an inseparable part of medical process.

 

Would you like more information on how 3D printing could be used in your work. And how you could benefit from it? Contact us and we will give you a free consult for your possible 3D print solution!

 

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What people say about us

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Definitely one of the best printers we’ve ever tested.

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What I enjoyed most were the two independent extruders, the air filter and the good print quality when printing with ABS and many other materials

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The Bolt is a powerful device with industrial mechanics and proved to be easy to use in the test.

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