The 3D MedTech printing market can be categorized as medical implants, surgical guides, surgical instruments and hearing aids. The medical implant segment is expected to grow at the fastest rate among all applications in the coming years.
Orthopaedic manufacturers are turning to 3D Printing to drive the long term change in the increased complexity of medical implant design and demand for tailor made patient-specific solutions, with all the benefits that can bring. These implants can promote patient recovery, as often it is the only alternative to amputation. Thin scaffolds that perfectly follow the contour of a bone or porous metal parts are easily manufacturable opening the door to many applications and designs that were not previously possible (including facial bones, radius and ulna).
Surgical guides allow docters to physically handle and visualize the anatomical model that is specific to the patient about to undergo surgery. This enables the surgeon to get to know the patient’s exact anatomy from multiple angles and anticipate what to expect during the operation. In addition to increased accuracy, improved safety, time saving, the guide is also a tool to inform / explain the patient how the operation will take place.
Surgical instruments, like forceps, hemostats, scalpel handles and clamps can be produced using 3D printers. Creating personalised surgical instruments offers many benefits. They facilitate faster and less traumatic procedures, increase a surgeon’s dexterity and support better surgery outcomes.
Nowadays any Hearing Aid company uses 3D Printing for the creation of hearing aid shells and earpiecessince these can be digitally fitted to exact anatomical specifications (thanks to 3D scanning) and customized pieces can be mass-produced.
It is clear that the production of 3D Printed medical devices provides a relatively fast and effective solution for complex surgical cases. However, there are still numerous challenging open issues in 3D Medtech Printing, like:
- design/printing/post-printing validation
- printing characteristics and parameters
- physical/mechanical assessment of final devices
- biological consideration of final devices (including cleaning, sterility and biocompatibility)
This conference (1st edition in 2015), which is part of the 3D Medical Printing Series, will bring together the international Medtech community to showcase the work of researchers and industry in the 3D Medtech Printing field and its applications, with a view to fostering closer ties and collaborations. The overall goal of this conference is to address both the technologies and the applications — from early technology development to downstream applications.
Early-stage and Start-Up Companies will find this conference an excellent source of networking opportunities with key opinion leaders participating and speaking.
The 3D Medtech Printing Conference is part of the 3D Medical Printing Series, which encompasses four online conferences during two weeks: