3D printed skull implant. Image: Tobias Hase

3D printed skull implant.
[ Image: Tobias Hase]

3D printing technology has transformed dozens of industries and markets, but probably not any as much as the medical and dental industries. 3D printing has been used to manufacture dentures and mouth devices for years now, and fast, high-quality 3D scanning has started to replace x-rays as the preferred method of capturing data about patients’ teeth. 3D printing is also being used to manufacture an entire new generation of advanced medical implants that can be customized for individual patients’ bodies. It is also starting to become commonly used in unexpected ways, like for surgical pre-planning and patient education. Additionally, 3D printing technology is revolutionizing the prosthetic and assistive devices market. It has given access to low-cost, highly customized prosthetics to a whole new population who would never have been able to afford traditionally manufactured devices.

3dp_medicalmarket_FMI_logoAccording to a new market report from London-based industrial research firm Future Market Insights, the unexpected growth of the 3D printed medical devices market is likely to be a fixture for some time to come. According to the report, medical communities worldwide are adopting 3D printing technology and the use of 3D printed devices at a consistent and rapid pace. The technology is leading to significantly improved quality of care for patients, and is capable of reducing the average procedure time for most surgical applications. This benefits both doctors and hospitals by lowing the strain placed on already overworked staff and leads to lowered costs all around.

The only restraining factor to the growth of the market is the tight regulations on 3D printed devices, implants and tooling. Whenever anything will be used inside of the human body the United States FDA and analogous organizations in other countries stringently review, monitor and test them. They are subjected to a rigorous verification and validation process that insures that they have been designed with consideration to the mechanical and thermal properties and their biocompatibility. However 3D printing is still emergent technology, so these regulations will eventually ease as better guidelines and requirements are formalized, which will only cause the market to expand faster than it already is.

Custom 3D printed leg prosthetics.

Custom 3D printed leg prosthetics.

The 3D Printed Medical Devices Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026 is a comprehensive examination of the complex global market and all of the related products, companies and additive manufacturing processes. Not only does the report include market predictions and forecasts, but it supports it with historical, statistical and industry-validated data. According to the report’s authors, the 3D printed medical devices market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 5% year over year until 2026. Additionally, 3D printing technology will also help transform a wide range of industries in addition to healthcare, including aerospace, food and beverages, and the manufacturing industry.

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Future Market Insights.

The report includes analysis of individual market segments and dynamics, supply and demand, market trends, market challenges, the various technologies and applications employed, and the major companies driving the industry. It also includes an overview of the parent market, changing market dynamics and a breakdown of geographical regions and any promising growth in those areas. Most regional growth is expected in the United States, which currently has the largest demand for 3D printed medical devices, followed closely by Europe. Combined, both markets are expected to continue to hold more than half of the global market over the next ten years. You can get your copy of the report here. Discuss further in the 3D Printed Medical Devices Future forum over at 3DPB.com.

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