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The medical sector benefits from the wide range of advantages offered by Additive Manufacturing. Thanks to the mass-customization opportunities and the flexibility of the manufacturing and design processes, 3D printing becomes a real alternative for this sector. In the future, this manufacturing technology could be used to replace human organ transplants, significantly speed-up surgical procedures, but also produce cheaper and more adaptable versions of required surgical tools. Using technology to rethink and improve the way we produce medical devices leads to great opportunities.
This technology can also improve the lives of those reliant on prosthetic limbs. That is a fact, we can notice a growing interest in adapted orthopedic insoles, orthosis, and prosthetics manufactured using additive manufacturing.
Thanks to the constant evolution of 3D printing technologies, the medical industry is facing new challenges. In its own way, 3D printing is revolutionizing the field of rehabilitative medicine and tackling a particular issue: prosthetics. According to NGO LIMBS, only 5% of the nearly 40 million amputees in the developing world have access to prosthetic devices or assistance. Many companies such as Unyq are using the advantages of generative design and additive manufacturing to create a brand new approach to prosthetics both in terms of form and functionality. Indeed, some companies are focusing on bringing these advantages to the developing world, to the amputees in environments that lack the medical infrastructure or resources. The goal here is to support the labor-intensive and expensive prospect of traditional prosthetic manufacturing.
Manufacturing adapted and quality devices for amputees is actually a struggle all over the world, as these prosthetics are expensive and most of the time, poorly adapted to the patient’s particularities. New technologies such as this one can also be a major advantage for prosthetists, helping them in the development of customizable prostheses. From the creation of 3D printed prosthetic hands to functional wrists, solutions can be offered with additive manufacturing. Engineers and researchers are opening new possibilities for prosthetics
Thanks to 3D printers, rapid prototyping has never been so easy. Iterate your ideas and projects faster thanks to this technology. Going further than traditional prosthetics manufacturing will enable great future developments.
The customization part is the most important argument here. Getting adapted devices and prosthetics will benefit the patients and improve their quality of life during a limb loss. Customizable functional prostheses creation is now possible thanks to 3D printers.
Once again, developing such a complex project as prosthetics is expensive with traditional manufacturing techniques. Especially if you want to adapt it to the morphology of the patient, additive manufacturing appears to be the most efficient technique to get low-cost prosthetics. It is becoming a life-changing solution to produce prosthetics in areas where the access to such devices is complicated, or impossible.
No minimum of order, no need to build an expensive mold, you only need a 3D file to print your project. Prosthetics are better, and more efficient while custom-made. However, customization is quite expensive with traditional manufacturing.
It is definitely bright! As you’ve seen in this article, the presented examples show how beneficial Additive Manufacturing is to the medical industry. 3D printing prosthetics are cheaper by thousands of dollars. They are also much more comfortable, fitting exactly the limb, not causing pain to the user, and they are highly customized. This level of personalization has never been achievable before.
Using an online service bureau such as Sculpteo, there is no minimum order quantity, from a single object to 10 000+ parts, you can 3D print the exact amount of parts you need. With 10+ years of expertise in additive manufacturing for production and prototyping, Sculpteo is also offering rigorous quality control. With our online 3D printing service, you get professional 3D printing at your fingertips with +75 materials and finishes to develop your most ambitious projects, such as prosthetics. We’ll take care of the rest in our industrial ISO 9001 factory.
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