3D Printing in the Medical Community
3D printing for most of us is hard to grasp. For instance, what is so important to print 3D, and how does it affect us? Sure, we’ve all heard about the 3D possibility of the making of a fun image of ourselves as the article in http://www.metamodernmagazine.com/artec-3d-selfie-figurines/ ; or making a gun, with proper material, but 3D is actually only limited by one’s imagination to innovate.
In the medical world, 3D is allowing surgeons to surgically practice on the exact vessel, organ, bone, etc. of the patient, all within the necessary proportions, with incredible accuracy, prior to the surgery. Practice makes perfect, as we all know.
Imagine the implications and innovations once only desired, but now a complete reality.
Imagine being the surgeon and needing a particular instrument, but it not being available, nor even manufactured. Now imagine that the surgeon can draw and render that drawing and submit it to a specific 3D printing manufacturer. A surgeon would then have the ability and, for the first time, in history, the availability, to create his own instruments.
The most common thought-of use for 3D printing in medicine, is a stent. A surgeon may now design and build the stent for the 3D printer first, have the stent manufactured for the patient, to personal perfection and size, for a perfect fit and adherence to human tissue. Not only is the stent a perfect fit, but the material used to make the stent is of medical properties to insure the body doesn’t reject it or become infected. No guessing or hoping that the body accepts it, and acclimates to, just precision of tissue acceptance.
Think of it, scoliosis patients can now have braces made of a comfortable material, conformed to their bodies, rather than the thick, confining braces. All accomplished with a 3D printer and proper materials manufacturer who sees the vision and has invested, and vested in a 3D printing solution.
As we age, and as accidents happen and disease and lifestyle sets in, it is not surprising that parts of our bodies begin to fail. Imagine the needs, now imagine the innovation.