3D printing is revolutionizing so
many sectors – here, we take a look at the huge changes being brought globally by
3D technology in the field of medicine, where computer-generated design is resulting
in 3D objects that are really changing lives at the front line of medicine, to
the extent that healthcare is the field set to drive the huge growth of 3D printing
technology going forwards.
3D Printed Polymer Skull Implants
In the Netherlands, surgeons have
already been able to replace the entire top section of a patient’s skull using
a customized printed polymer implant; similar replacement cranium parts have
also been employed in other countries, with FDA approval.
Equipment 3D Printed in Developing Countries
3D printing is being used to manufacture
expensive or otherwise unavailable essential medical equipment in the
developing world – in Haiti, for example, umbilical chord clamps are already
being 3D printed for hospitals. In fact, 3D printing’s finest moment could be
in significantly reducing health inequalities worldwide.
Did you know that even blood vessels
can be 3D printed? Researchers at Harvard University designed a 3D printer that
uses dissolving ink to create tissue with skin cells interwoven with structural
material that can potentially function as blood vessels.
Prosthetics: Life-Changing Advances Thanks to 3D Technology
Making prosthetics is notoriously
expensive and time-consuming, with the added difficulty that any required modifications
to the prosthetic render the original molds useless. But researchers in Toronto
have now used 3D printing technology to produce inexpensive and customizable
prosthetic sockets for patients in Uganda and other countries in the developing
world. Meanwhile, a California-based R&D company has used 3D printers in
Sudan, training local people to operate the equipment then create and fit
Printed Spinal Discs and Ears
Researchers at Cornell University
have 3D printed intervertebral discs used in the treatment of patients with
major spinal complications, having already created ear molds using 3D photos of
real ears, which held the shape of the ear while cells grew their
extra-cellular matrix. Meanwhile, a team at Princeton have 3D printed a
collagen ear with built-in electronic components.
- Meds via Blueprint: The Future
of Drug Distribution?
In the field of drug distribution,
University of Glasgow researchers are working on a 3D printer that will be able
to assemble chemical compounds at the molecular level, allowing patients to buy
a blueprint and chemical ink online and then print the drug at home.
In the USA, the epilepsy drug Spritam
became the world’s first FDA-approved 3D-printed pill, notable also for its
alternate layers of powder and liquid giving it a very fast dissolution rate which
was unattainable through conventional manufacturing.
At Nottingham University, meanwhile,
researchers have been able to 3D-print one ‘polypill’ containing five different
Blueprints or apps could now be
the future of drug distribution, with pharmacies becoming 3D printing medicine
Metrology is a market leader in the inspection of engineered components,
offering metrology support throughout the UK and worldwide for both indoor and
outdoor 3D measurements. Manchester Metrology offers laser scanner equipment
hire, stocking a wide range of calibrated measurement equipment.
Manchester Metrology also has a vast range of probes, mounting options and
accessories for your metrology equipment and offers both onsite and offsite
training on a variety of the latest software such as CAM2, Measure 10,
Polyworks, Geomagic, Aberlink, Declam and PowerInspect.
Manchester Metrology’s Snapmaker has a 3-in-1 software which allows your stunning creation to be just a few clicks away. Helps entry level users to complete the work quickly. The Snapmaker updates regularly with new features to enable users have great experience on using it. See it in action here.
information please call us on 0161 637 8744.