3D printing or Additive Manufacturing is slowly, but certainly changing the world for the better, and shortening the time-to-market. In the world of medicine, shortening that ‘time to market’ literally means saving lives.
There are numerous theoretical examples where 3D printing could save lives, and we have now witnessed three surgeries where the technology moved patients from their death beds to recovery rooms and regular life. Only over the past 12 months, we started to see doctors using 3D printed vertebrae to help their patients. First two operations happened in China, on two separate patients. A 12-year old was operated in August 2014, while a 21-year old cancer patient was operated in December 2014. In both cases, doctors used a combination of titanium and acrylic vertebrae. From what we read on Popular Science and The Wired, doctors believe that a move to a more advanced acrylic-based materials will reduce possibility of complications and improve the post-op recovery procedures.Read more