3D printing technology offers a wide range of personalization and customization options that are impossible with traditionally manufactured products. We’re already seeing some of the first custom 3D printed consumer products making their way to market, including shoes, sports equipment, eyeglasses and even earbuds. All of these products can be made for a specific user’s body, optimizing the technology to work for an individual, not an average user as with most mass produced products. A more exciting, and potentially world-changing application of customized 3D printed products is the ability to manufacture life-saving medical devices and assistive technology to suit an individual user’s needs.
As one of the largest pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in the world, the products that Johnson & Johnson develops will be made available in more than 175 different countries all over the globe. So when they decide to develop ways to integrate 3D printing technology into their business, it isn’t just their own company that will be changed, but as their competitors try to keep up with them, their entire industry will change. This week Johnson & Johnson is announcing a broad and wide-reaching collaboration with a 3D printing subsidiary of HP Inc.
“The intersection of technology and health care is spurring innovation that will have a profound impact on patients and consumers all over the world. Combined with advances in data mining and software, 3D printing could enable distributed manufacturing models and patient-specific products, therapies and solutions that deliver better outcomes, better economics and improved global accessibility. This collaboration with HP Inc. exemplifies our commitment to harnessing new technology to improve outcomes and reduce costs across the health continuum,” said Johnson & Johnson Group Worldwide Chairman Sandra Peterson.
The goal of the partnership between Johnson & Johnson and HP is to find ways to implement new 3D printing technology that will help them develop better healthcare outcomes for patients, consumers and health care providers while reducing costs. The two companies plan to combine their scientific, clinical, material science and technological knowhow to develop a series of consumer products, medical solutions and medical devices that can be manufactured fast. 3D printing will allow them to develop products that have been customized for individual patients and consumers based on their specific needs.
“Advances in 3D printing technology have the potential to break historical paradigms of health care delivery in ways that are not feasible in traditional manufacturing processes. Together with Johnson & Johnson we have the potential to create opportunities and innovations in health care to improve patients’ lives that neither company could develop alone,” explained Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business.
While the collaboration was just announced yesterday, the partnership has actually already begun, and teams of experts brought together from both companies are working together on new medical products and solutions. In the early stages of the partnership they will focus on the personalization of instrumentation and software used to operate patient-specific medical devices. However they expect that their collaboration will lead to 3D printing applications that will innovate solutions and devices in orthopaedics and eye health, not to mention new, cutting edge consumer products. What do you think of this collaboration? Discuss further in the Johnson & Johnson 3D Printing with HP forum over at 3DPB.com.