3D Printing: A Revolution In Medicine

By: Shanza Anwaar

CNBC News reports how “3D printing has been successfully used in the health care sector to make prosthetic limbs, custom hearing aids and dental fixtures”.  The innovative technology is now being used for creating more intricate structures such as human tissue.

3D printing is an affordable way of “making three-dimensional solid objects from digital designs”.  The technology has created a buzz in the tech space for the past few years and it now promises to transform the manufacturing as well as the medicine industries.  Jochen Rode, who leads the digital manufacturing program of SAP’s research department in Germany,  gives details on which industries 3D printing will affect the most and how long it will take before doctors’ start printing out 3D organs.

Rode claims that around 70% of the 3D printing market continues to be “rapid prototyping” – designers installing 3D printers and printing “mock” products.   The other 30% is used for “small-series production of specialized parts”; one example of this function is tool manufacturing.

Today, the health care industry is utilizing 3D printing in creating facial implants for broken bones and printing human organs in laboratories.  The aerospace and defense industries also benefit from the innovation as it helps create specialized parts for machines through printing instead of investing in specific tools.

Rode believes larger businesses as well as companies that exclusively specialize in 3D printing will incorporate this technology in their industry one way or another.   However, not all large corporations can afford to house numerous 3D printers simultaneously.  Hence, companies that specialize in 3D printing such as Shapeways, Sculpteo or i.Materialise are a cost-friendly way to use 3D printing without breaking the bank.

3D printing is thus, revolutionizing the very face of manufacturing, medicine and tech industries by completely changing the way products were created before.  If you’re an entrepreneur who would like to experience the 3D printing process first hand, you can attend Altitude Accelerator’s InnovateForward 3D Printing seminar and tour on May 2, 2013.  The seminar will help you connect with key experts in a high-tech laboratory at Sheridan’s Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and Design Technologies and give you the tools to incorporate innovative technologies in your business.  Click here to register.

Shanza joins the RIC team as a Social Media Intern. Pursuing two undergraduate majors in anthropology and professional writing at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Shanza is also a co-editor and content writer at the Digital Enterprise Management Society. She hopes to make her mark as a Social Media Consultant.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal and professional experiences. Visit Altitude Accelerator for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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