3D Printing Revolutionizes Healthcare
Add 3D printing to the list of new technologies making a big difference in improving healthcare. Today, according to Forbes, 95 percent of all hearing aids are 3D printed. Align Technology manufactures 650,000 pairs of Invisalign teeth straightening devices every day via a 3D printer. 3D printers are used for jaw transplants, skull implants and a wide variety of prosthetics. What makes 3D printing so beneficial is speed, efficiency and customization that isn’t so readily available using traditional methods. In a matter of just hours, a 3D printer uses a software program to read the design by a physician. Instead of using ink like a traditional printer, the 3D printer deposits the material, such as a biodegradable polyester called polycaprolactone, into layers. This new artificial tissue is then sprayed and squeezed to create a new creation. What you may have thought was just something from sci-fi books and movies has become reality. This new technology, which has been researched and developed for over 30 years, is another amazing new way medicine is improving to enhance and save lives.