Available materials limit vast medical potential of 3D printing


The medical applications of 3D printing, aka additive manufacturing, were a hot topic on day one of BIOMEDevice Boston, reports Chris Newmarker, Senior Editor at sister brands MPMN and QMED. The big takeaway for him from a LearningLabs session devoted to the technology is how a relatively small quantity of available materials limit 3D printing from reaching its full potential in the medtech space.

Five hundred different grades of plastics are available for injection molding, Anthony Vicari, research associate at Boston-based Lux Research, told attendees. Material selection for 3D printing is much more limited and is largely determined by its ease of use for prototyping rather than medical applications.
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