Rapid Prototyping for Medical Applications
The utilisation of rapid prototyping technologies for medical applications can be divided to three main applications:
Any field where it's imperative to decrease product development time, while simultaneously providing users with functional performance feedback is an excellent prospect for rapid prototyping. As human lives depend on the quality and ease of use of medical products there is extra incentive to use rapid prototypes in the product development process of new medical devices. 3D Systems Asia-Pacific offers its customers the ability to produce prototypes from medical grade materials.
Physical / Anatomical Parts
Rapid prototyping technologies also called Additive fabrication has becoming an increasingly important manufacturing method. Items that must be customized for each patient are now frequently recognized as candidates that are most economic to manufacture using additive technologies. Nearly all hearing-aids today are made using 3D printing, stereo lithography or selective laser sintering.
Medical models allow medical practitioners to visualise the medical problem and plan treatment. 3D Models are frequently present in the operating room where they are used as templates and guides.
3D Printing is often the rapid prototyping method of choice for such applications. The transparency of the model and the ability to print models with various colours and materials allow distinct visualization of tumours or other anomalies within the surrounding tissue or bone.
Surgeons aren't the only people interested in bones. Anthropologists, paleontologists and forensic specialists are, too. RP and the related technologies have enabled these scientists to put a recognizable face on skeletons, share precise replicas of rare finds and build museum exhibits.