3D printing has revolutionized a number of industries already, from manufacturing and aerospace to the artisan creations and inventions that bring new product ideas to life. Its uses are not limited to design engineers in the manufacturing space and entrepreneurial makers looking to start a new business though. The fact is, 3D printing offers tremendous opportunities for prototyping for practically any kind of three-dimensional device, and that includes medical devices and implants. Read on to learn how working with a 3D printing company can help you develop prototypes for new kinds of medical equipment.
Medical Device Development With 3D Printing
There are two basic ways that this new process is revolutionizing the medical industry.
• Building custom implants and devices that are built to the specific measurements of a patient
• Faster working proof-of-concept and proof-of-design prototype.
These two ways of operating are not mutually exclusive. It is definitely possible to prototype devices that are later manufactured on 3D printing equipment to allow them to be custom fit.
Building a Relationship With 3D Printing Professionals
The skill set necessary to program new designs into printers is highly specialized. We recommend those interested in customized prototypes and 3D printing work with outside specialist such as a design engineer in Philadelphia that can be retained to facilitate your work. As for healthcare facility that may use 3D printing for customized medical devices in surgeries, it would be best to have a technician on staff that can work closely with the medical team designing the customized devices. These relationships can take time to develop, but it all starts when you research the 3D printing company choices near you.
As your approach is refined, the engineers who work with you to produce medical devices will be able to create streamlined protocols and programs that allow you to simply enter patient measurements to start the process of building a new medical device custom fit to their needs. Currently, examples of success stories include individually fit prosthetics like a replacement hand and other limbs, as well as orthopedic implants that help strengthen a hip or knee joint. The guides written for these processes allow doctors to simply assess the patient and record specific measurements using digital tools that are uploaded straight into a design program.
Approaching 3D Printing as a Newcomer
If you are looking for a way to break into the field of medical device development, we suggest you look for design engineer in Philadelphia that is already doing this type of work and ask if you can support his or her efforts as a partner, employee or intern. Most 3D printing companies in Pennsylvania have only been introduced to rapid prototyping in Philadelphia in the last 5 years since the technology is so cutting edge. No doubt this arena will continue to develop as more great minds continue to test and grow new ideas. Very exciting!