3D printed medical devices are novel medical devices that involve process of developing three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. Patient specific treatment is the main advantage of 3D printing technology in the healthcare industry. In the healthcare industry, 3D printing technology is used to develop medical devices including dental implants, orthopaedic implants, prosthetics and hearing aids. Furthermore, hospitals and academic institutes use 3D printing technology to develop various models for training purposes.

3D printed medical devices considered in the report include typically the technologies like stereolithography (SLA), selective layer sintering (SLS), digital light processing (DLP), fused deposition modeling (FDM), polyjet / inkjet 3D printing and electronic beam melting (EBM). Normally stereo lithography also called stereo lithography apparatus (SLA) is a type of technology used in additive manufacturing (AM). SLS is one type of additive manufacturing technology in which, primarily, the computer controlled laser traces the cross-section of any object onto small particles of plastic and glass, and then it develops the complete objective.

DLP is a 3D printing process used to print 3D products including medical devices. In this process, once the printer receives the 3D model, the digital light processing projector displays the image of the 3D model onto the liquid polymer material. FDM is a standard technology used in additive manufacturing. There are three steps include slicing, layering process and removing disposable support material in the development of 3D printed products using FDM technology. It builds products by melting plastic through a computer controlled extrusion head. The global 3D printed medical devices market, estimated to be worth nearly USD 330 Mn by 2017 end, and is expected to register a CAGR of 18.1 percent over the forecast period of 2017–2027.

Reduction of Lifecycle Costs to Boost the Market of 3D Printed Medical Devices

Implementation of 3D printing for medical device manufacturing as compared to conventional techniques results in less material wastage in the form of process scrap by eliminating the need for expensive tooling and cutting down the number of manufacturing steps, which results in a leaner supply chain. Cost associated with conventional manufacturing includes expenses for CNC programming of machines, creating CAM programs, transit time and costs for multiple operations, labor costs and program management costs for multiple vendors, which can be eliminated by 3D printing.

Reduction of Time to Reach the Market Also a Significant Advantage of 3D Printing of Medical Devices

Currently, with the help of 3D printing, medical device manufacturers are able to create ‘clinical trial ready’ devices directly from the Computer Aided Design (CAD) data. This helps in reducing the overall time a product requires to reach the market and also reduces the money and time invested in production tooling process. Ability of 3D printing to make prototypes without tooling results in less time to promote and reduced risk of product launch as customer preferences are assessed by testing multiple configurations and suitable product is manufactured.

Global 3D Printed Medical Devices Market Analysis and Forecast by Region

On the basis of region, global 3D printed medical devices is segmented into North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan, Japan and Middle East & Africa. North America is leading the 3D printed medical devices market. North America dominated global 3D printed medical devices due to increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. The Asia Pacific excluding Japan 3D printed medical devices market was estimated to be valued at nearly USD 40 million in the year 2017 and is slated to reach a valuation of nearly USD 163 million in 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.3 percent during the period of assessment. – FMI Research 

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