Medical 3-D Printing Will 'Enable a New Kind of Future'
Medical 3-D printing, begun with such well-known devices as hearing aids and Invisalign braces, has come a long way. Now we have 3-D-printed implants, 3-D-printed models for surgical practice, 3-D-printed bone replacements, even 3-D-printed human tissue
Surgeons are finding that 3D-printing technology can reduce operating time, lower risks from errors or complications, and produce better outcomes for patients through the use of 3D-printed surgical models and tools.
3D printers now incorporate photo-curable resins of various textures, transparency and flexibility — so before procedures, surgeons can now plan complex surgeries with CT scan data of a patient's bones, blood vessels or other organs, converted to a 3D-printable digital file that can be manipulated and studied.
Using medical imaging and 3D-modeling technology, doctors can now also use 3D printers to create temporary tools that are affixed to the skeletal structure of the patient to provide a precise "blueprint" for reshaping bone structure to perfectly accommodate standard-size implants.
One of the most inspiring outcomes from the rapid expansion of 3D-printed medical solutions is the ability to help patients who previously had little hope for treatment. Whether due to financial obstacles or the unique circumstances of a condition, millions of people across the globe are unable to undergo critical surgeries. Now, in some cases, 3D printing is helping remove those obstacles.
3D Printing Is Revolutionzing Health Care