3D Printing: Ushering in the New Era of Customized Medical Devices
3D printed medical devices are three-dimensional objects, created by attaching successive layers of objects through a 3D digital file. Such devices are highly customized to suit the patient’s unique needs, which in turn helps provide better patient outcomes. Moreover, it can also be used to develop anatomical models for medical related education and for training purposes. This is a rapidly emerging technology facilitating production of different kinds of medical products such as implants, surgical instruments, and external prosthetics. The process of 3D printed medical device manufacturing involves multiple steps. These steps depend upon the type of printing and the complexity of the equipment.
Technological advancements making 3D-printed devices more affordable
Factors driving growth of the 3D printed medical devices market include rising technological advancements through development of innovative 3D printed medical equipment and increasing healthcare spending worldwide. For instance, Stratasys Ltd. is focusing on development of extensive detailed prototypes or molds made of flexible and transparent materials for detailed study of chronic diseases. Moreover, aging population also contributes towards the demand for these devices. This is primarily due to the fact that this particular demographic group is more susceptible to osteoarthritis, gangrene, as a risk of diabetes and chronic heart disorders. Rising incidence of road and other accidents is also expected to influence market growth. However, stringent regulatory framework, high cost of 3D printed devices, and low reimbursement policies are some of the factors restraining market growth for 3D printed medical devices.
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Prosthetics and implants the mainstay of 3D-printed medical devices
The global 3D printed medical devices market is segmented on the basis of product type, raw material, technology, end user, and geography. On the basis of product type, the market is segmented into implants, surgical instruments, prosthetics, tissue engineering devices, and others. Implants is sub-segmented into cranial implants, orthopedic implants, and dental implants; surgical instruments is sub-segmented into scalpels, retractors, and others; tissue engineering devices is sub-segmented into bone and cartilage scaffolds and ligament and tendon scaffolds.
On the basis of raw material, the market is divided into plastics, biomaterial inks, and metal and alloys. Plastics are further divided into thermoplastics and photopolymers. Biomaterial inks include polymers, ceramics and hydrogels.
On the basis of technology, the market is segmented into Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Digital Light Processing (DLP), Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Electron Beam Melting (EBM), Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), and others.
On the basis of end user, the market is classified into hospitals, diagnostic centers, academic institutions, and others.
Stratasys Ltd. is one of the major companies for 3D printed medical devices market
Key players operating the 3D medical devices market include 3D Systems, Inc., Stratasys Ltd., EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, Arcam AB, FabRx Ltd., Bio3D Technologies, EnvisionTEC, Cyfuse Biomedical K.K., Concept Laser GmbH, 3T RPD, Ltd., and Prodways. Major companies in the market are constantly working towards introducing innovative products and lower production costs in order to enhance profitability. For instance, in November 2016, 3D Systems extended its anatomical modeling service aimed at including pliable MultiJet Printing (MJP) material for patient-specific 3D modelling and printing services.
Key players are involved in gaining approval from regulatory authorities for devices and software, in order to competitive edge in the market. For instance, in June 2019, Materialise NV, a global 3D printing software solution company, received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance its Mimics Enlight cardiovascular planning software suite. This software suite is based on company’s Mimics Innovation suite to help clinicians produce patient-specific 3D models for more than 20 years.
Key players in the market are involved in various business strategies such as collaboration and partnership to develop novel products for patients. For instance, in April 2019, Fluidda and Materialise NV entered into partnership to develop tailored solutions in the respiratory care, building on its image-based software.
Key players in the market are involved in introducing innovative technologies to gain competitive edge in the market. For instance, in November 2018, Materialise NV introduced 3D printing innovations, which is expected to increase efficiency and productivity in 3D printing process.
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