Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a manufacturing approach that includes layering of substances to create an object, that has been recently used in the healthcare sector due to several factors such as its low cost and facilitation of different processes.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a manufacturing process of layering substances such as metals, ceramics, and living cells. Today, 3D printing is used to create different medical tools such as customized implants, personalized prosthetics, and medical devices. 3D printing is considered a revolutionary technology, as it helps in medical fields with patient education, physician training, and surgical procedure planning.
Additionally, 3D printing is used to manufacture different medical equipment from customized implants to personalized prosthetics, as it is time efficient, easy to obtain, and cost efficient. For example, researchers from the University of Toronto were able to produce low cost and easily modified prosthetics for developing countries such as Uganda (Meskó, 2015). This shows that 3D printing will permit a wide range of consumers to afford certain medical objects that were traditionally expensive and hard to acquire.
3D printing also assists in patient education during the consultation as it enhances the doctor’s illustration and facilitates the patient’s understanding of complex medical situations. Moreover, it allows medical students to have a better understanding of complex pathologies with anatomical models, and also aides in physician training as the medical students can directly apply procedures on the models. Additionally, 3D printing helps surgeons in decreasing surgical time by pre-assessing and planning of surgical treatments (Debecker, 2016).
3D printing technology has been used for the first time in the Middle East by doctor Yaser Saeedi, a consultant urologist at Dubai Hospital. Dr. Saeedi used 3D technology amid a medical operation on a 42-year-old female who acquired a tumor in her kidney. Using 3D technology resulted in avoiding the complete removal of the kidney as Dr. Saeedi was able to approach the tumor exactly and determine the most efficient way to remove the tumor. Dr. Saeedi also points out that 3D technology decreased the operation’s period from four hours to three hours (Crompton, 2016).
In conclusion, 3D printing is an innovative manufacturing process in medicine used nowadays, as it facilitates different procedures and is cost-efficient. Furthermore, 3D printing is a process that is believed will transform traditional manufacturing processes in different domains such as healthcare, architecture, and aerospace, as it provides an easier approach to different processes.
Crompton, P. (2016, December 12). 3D-printed kidney helps save patient with tumour. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from Gulf News : http://m.gulfnews.com/news/uae/health/3d-printed-kidney-helps-save-patient-with-tumour-1.1943919
Debecker, S. (2016, February 15). 4 Benefits of Using 3D-Printed Anatomical Models in Your Daily Practice and the Evidence to Back Them Up. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from Materialise: http://hospital.materialise.com/blog/4-benefits-of-3d-printed-anatomical-models/
Meskó, B. (2015, February 26). 12 Things We Can 3D Print in Medicine Right Now. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from 3d printing Industry: https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/12-things-we-can-3d-print-in-medicine-right-now-42867/