Sunday 10 December 2023

The Process of Medical Device Creation When It Comes to 3D Printing, Modeling, and Engineering


3D Printing


Also called additive manufacturing (AM), 3D printing uses instructions from a digital file to create a 3-dimensional object one layer at a time. Each layer represents a slice” of the finalized object. Anything that can be envisioned as thousands of thin layers that come together to create a solid object can be represented in a digital file that tells a 3D printer how to replicate that object.


Manufacturers of medical devices find that 3D printing is an efficient way to use the materials their devices are made from. Because each device can be printed on demand from a customized file, 3D printing allows device manufacturers to create devices based on the individual end users exact specifications. Rather than warehouses of identical parts that then have to be customized to the patient, a manufacturer only has to store the end users detailed measurements in digital form, then create one ready-to-use device specific to that user.



Dentures, eyeglasses, and titanium replacement hip joints are some examples of medical devices that can be 3D modeled and 3D printed. These medical devices can be customized not only to the patients individual anatomy, but also to their lifestyle choices. For example, a patient who plans to compete in athletic events may need a more lightweight device than another patient with a more sedentary lifestyle; different materials can be used to print their devices.


Porous metal foams used in some 3D printed medical devices that are meant to contact living bone tissue can be highly customized as to the size, distribution, and number of pores in the foam. This helps with the process of osseointegration, the bonding between the bone tissue and the device. Patients with these kind of porous metal foam devices statistically need fewer visits to emergency rooms than patients with more traditional prostheses.


3D Modeling


3D modeling (also spelled modelling) uses computer software to create a 3D model of an object that exists in the real world. It captures the objects texture, size, and shape, converting them into coordinate data that appears within the programs matrix structure. This data then becomes the digital file that can be used to create that object using 3D printing. Examples of this type of software include AutoCAD, Blender, TinkerCAD, ZBrush, and Autodesk Maya.


In health care, surgical teams sometimes take extensive measurements of images of a patient and use 3D modeling to plan exactly how theyre going to perform a surgical procedure in the specific patients body. Medical device manufacturers can use patient-specific 3D models of a patients bones to predict how a prosthetic device will fit the patients body. Health care providers typically take measurements and images directly from the patients body in person; in some cases, it may be possible to make highly detailed 3D models from a high-definition image. To create the highly precise images needed to 3D model parts of the human body, health care providers can use x-rays computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and other imaging technologies.


3D Engineering


Like 3D modeling, 3D engineering uses computer software to create a realistic, 3-dimensional image of an object. The difference is that while the object being modeling in 3D modeling exists in the real world, the digital object created by 3D engineering exists only in the software and in the engineers imagination. In other words, 3D engineering is used to design objects that have never existed before in the real world. Prototypes created by 3D engineering can quickly be created using 3D printing for a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing.


Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for GSC


Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

1 comment:

Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources

Special offers