How Is 3D Printing Winning Big in the Healthcare Industry in the Current Situation

3D printing has become a buzzword in recent times, but it is a decade old technology that has been rapidly evolving. 3D printing presents many new possibilities to the world of manufacturing. In the medical world, application for additive manufacturing has seen the highest demand. From implants to prosthetics and making personalized or even patented intricate designs, additive manufacturing has the solution.

  Most manufacturing companies run with more than 60% on-site workers without whose labour, work comes to a halt but in 3D printing, minimum operator intervention is required since it is completely automated, reducing the need for manual operators by 30-40%.

Arnold & Porter, a 1,000 partners US law firm, has published an article briefing the shift in the legal setting during the coronavirus pandemic. A statement from the firm states, “The 3D printing community can play an important role in alleviating shortages in critical medical supplies for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Regulatory requirements and liability risks have already been materially reduced in response to the global crisis in a variety of ways that make it substantially easier and less risky for 3D manufacturers to participate in medical product manufacturing,” writes Arnold & Porter.

This has given many 3D printing manufacturers some freedom to manufacture critical parts without facing legal action.

Since the disease, COVID-19, causes severe respiratory issues some escalating and requiring additional accessory support, the need for such healthcare items has never been more urgent. In some cases, specialist respirators that stand in for lungs are critical instruments that can save lives.  In parallel items like ventilators masks, shields, and other personal safety equipment required to treat patients are being manufactured by 3D printers at rapid rates.

Even testing equipment like test swabs was created with 3D printing technologies.

The thing with Additive manufacturing is that it offers versatility and complexity of manufacturing even industrial goods with ease. Some objects like drones have also seen the demand and 3D printers were able to deliver these in the coronavirus relief efforts.

The need for 3D printed products has never been more and here are reasons why they will win big during this pandemic:

1. Creative Freedom

3D printing allows for endless customization, which makes it much simpler to accommodate changes. Your imagination is the only limitation. When products are tailor-made to the exact measurements’ wastage of time, money and resource will automatically reduce. 

2. Quick Design to the Production Process

When there are a huge demand and limited time to deliver especially during this COVID-19 situation, conventional methods like injection molds and subtractive production fall behind compared to 3D printing.

Additive manufacturing is faster than conventional manufacturing offering quick design and prototype manufacturing this means more time to confirm the prototype and decide product-market fit before competitors. 3D printing takes just a few hours. Meanwhile, with conventional manufacturing methods, this can take weeks if not months.

3. Guaranteed Quality

Additive manufacturing allows gradual assembly of the object, which guarantees improved designs and ultimately better-quality items. This process offers consistency and good credibility when going through a trial and error process is not feasible during uncertain times. In healthcare industry precision is vital. Which Additive manufacturing offers

4. Cost-Effective

The budget to develop a prototype is directly related to labor costs. Conventional prototyping methodologies including production runs and injection mold are expensive as they require a lot of manual labor. This applied to conventional subtractive manufacturing as well. Experienced machine operators and technicians to handle the production don’t come cheap. With 3D printing, however, one person is all it takes to give the command, the rest is taken care of by the machine.

5. Different Raw Materials

With 3D printing combining different raw materials is one of the biggest advantages. It can be part of the same production processes and can easily accommodate a diverse range of raw material including glass, metal, paper, ceramics, biomaterial, silver, etc.