We have said it before, and we will say it again; 3D printing technology is changing and will change just about everything. Aside from printing the occasional novelty project at home with a desktop printer, additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology is being used in a host of industries changing the way we design, build, create, and even eat.
NASA is hoping to use 3D printing technology to construct housing on Mars for future colonies while companies like byFlow are using the emerging technology to create food and intricate edible tableware. The uses and applications seem to be both limitless and exciting, yet this is just the beginning. So, what kind of changes can we expect to see in the medical industry?
Disrupting The Medical Industry
While the most obvious application of 3D printing to the medical industry may be prosthetics, additive manufacturing is changing medical science in more ways than you might think. Like something out of a science fiction film, researchers are now able to 3D print organs.
According to our friends over at IDTechEx, 3D bioprinting has recently gained tremendous momentum with an equal amount of innovation happening both on the commercial side and in academic research; and this is just the beginning. Given the current market and based on current forecasts by IDTechEx, the global market for 3D bioprinting will reach a value of $1.9 billion by the year 2028.
As part of the MBC Biologic incubator, Prellis Biologics has made viable steps toward 3D printing hearts, livers, kidneys and lungs. While the European Space Agency and the University Hospital of Dresden Technical University in Germany have already started producing bioprinted skin and bone samples. There could come a time in the near future where major injuries and organs are treated with bioprinted technology.
Both researchers and companies have a lot to gain from 3D bioprinting. According to IDTechEx, bioprinting can be used for the testing of cosmetics and other consumer goods, drug screening, personalized medicine, education, and most excitingly regenerative medicine.
If you are interested in the future of bioprinting be sure to check out IDTechEx's recent in-depth report on the growing 3D Bioprinting industry. Check it out here.