3D printing medical devices are used for the production of a varied collection of medical devices which includes compound features or geometry which matches a particular patient’s exclusive anatomy.It can be used to create 3D printed models of patients’ organs in order to strategize and practice difficult and complex surgeries.A few of the devices are printed from basic design to create several identical formats of the same device. A few other available devices, known as patient-specific devices are made from a particular patient’s data. 3D printed medical devices which are commercially available are implants – hip joints, knee joints, cranial plates, etc., Instrumentation – with assisting in precise surgical positioning of a device, external prostheses – hands, legs, etc.As compared to other processes, 3D printing is new and swiftly widening field.Besides, in medical segment, 3D printing is used in several industries like defense, aerospace, automotive, and healthcare.
In healthcare segment, this method has several advantages like tailor-making of prosthetics and implants, cost-efficiency and increase in productivity. Furthermore, scientists are researching on various research activities to determine whether how 3D printers can be used to make living organs like liver, heart, kidney, etc. Nevertheless, this is at very early trial stage. This procedure of 3D orienting can be established with the help of many different technologies and to select which technology to use can be based on various factors that includes how the end product will be put to use and whether how user-friendly the printer is. The most widely used technology for 3D printing the medical devices is known as powder bed fusion (PBF), and the reason for being so common is that it functions along with varied materials that are used in making these medical devices like nylon and titanium.
Trends in the 3D printing medical devices market
The global 3D printing medical devices market is prognosticated to be approximately USD 9.8 billion by the end of 2025. Several factors contribute to such high market growth such as more number of cranio-maxillofacial and dental injuries owing to increase in accident cases, escalating prevalence of osteoarthritis amongst elderly population, and more awareness pertaining to personal care. In recent times, there has been an increases focus on the development of this technology in the Indian market. Moreover, academic institutes and hospitals make use of 3D printing technology to create several models for the purpose of training. Technologies such as selective layer sintering (SLS),stereolithography (SLA),fused deposition modelling (FDM),digital light processing (DLP),electronic beam melting (EBM) and polyjet / inkjet 3D printing.
3D printing market based on Selective laser sintering (SLS) powder attributed for the major chunk of the market revenue share in 2016 owing to its potential to generate extremely durable parts. Also, it does not need any support structure that protects the device’s design form falling at the time of production. Besides, in 2016, the orthopaedic implants market was responsible for the largest overall market share. In the end user application segment, hospitals led the global market in the year 2016, since more number of surgeries which need 3D printed medical devices take place in hospitals.
Geographically, in 20146, the United States accounted for the largest share of the 3D printing medical devices market. The reason for such high growth are increased adoption of 3D printing technology along with prominence on research and development enterprises. Similarly, in the Asia Pacific region, Japan contributed to the major market share in that region owing to escalated awareness pertaining to 3D printing technology for medical purposes and governments’ schemes to back developments towards this technology.