Medical Additive Manufacturing

The medical additive manufacturing sector (including dental AM) is today one of the largest adopters of 3D printing technologies for the production of consumer-targeted items, including prosthetics, implants, dental replacements and physical models.

The use of 3D printing technologies extends well beyond 3D printed implants. Surgical guides and presurgical models can in a way be compared to the widespread use of AM for prototyping and tooling in the industrial manufacturing arena. Leading AM hardware manufacturers, such as 3D Systems, EnvisionTEC, EOS and SLM Solutions – along with service providers like Materialise – are investing heavily to develop both medical and dental AM applications.

While the benefits of AM technologies for personalized medicine and more efficient surgical practices is well documented, several hurdles still exist that are limiting a widespread adoption of these key technologies in hospitals and medical practices. Several of these hurdles are inherent to the AM technologies and related material availability, however, the biggest challenges remain in a general lack of awareness and skepticism, resulting in a slow pace of adoption.

Today very significant strides have been made – mainly in the private segment – toward the development of advanced polymers, metals, and ceramics fit for implantation in humans. The private dental segment is going through a full-size boom in the adoption of AM technologies and processes. With this month’s Industry Focus we zoom in on the latest advancements and take a look at the upcoming opportunities for medical and dental AM.

Latest Medical and Dental AM news:

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