In what way can an FDM 3D printing service help people who need prosthetics?
Modern technology comes in many forms and uses.
Among the available technologies in the present, 3D printing is one of the most versatile. If you aren’t familiar with it yet, 3D printing is the process of creating a three-dimensional object by laying down the material together. This object comes from a digital file (CAD file as the most common).
Different industries find it really useful and groundbreaking because it allows them to create products in a faster, cheaper, and brand new way.
Among the industries that enjoy its capabilities is the healthcare industry.
After years of continuing studies about the application of 3D printing in the healthcare industry, experts have come up with its four major applications:
It is hard to imagine how 3D printing has come a long way in the field of medicine. But as people continue to seek better and simpler solutions — and challenge the limits of 3D printing — the more they unlock mysteries of how this technology can affect the lives of the humankind.
Who would have thought that there’s a possibility to make an organ inside a lab? It might disrupt the natural law in some way but if perfected and put into good use, it can save lives.
3D printing cheap surgical tools are also helpful to communities that can barely afford a decent set of medical materials. The same goes for conflicted places like warzones. By having a 3D printer in place, thinking how and when the surgical tools will arrive is not a huge problem anymore.
The 3D printed models of internal organs also help surgeons determine the best procedure that they can use before the actual operation. As a result, the entire process becomes faster. The probability of successful operation with the aid of a 3D model is also higher compared to traditional ones.
3D printed prosthetic parts also play a huge role in making a difference in the life of an amputee. Because 3D printed prosthetics are relatively cheaper, amputees from third world countries are expected to benefit from this the most.
3D printing technology alone can reduce the cost of prosthetics significantly. But the use of the process called fused deposition modeling (FDM) can reduce it even further.
Why is this so?
The FDM process is the most widely used form of 3D printing. However, most manufacturers or research team choose the stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing process because it does amazing work for producing a near injection molded result. The only problem with SLA is its accompanying cost. The resin and the printers used for this process is more expensive.
In an interview with one of the developers of a 3D printed prosthetic hand, Alexander Agboola-Dobson explained in an article that while FDM “can be much cheaper in terms of both the material cost and machine (printer) cost, it comes with the downside of producing a lower standard of surface finish.”
This is the reason why 3D printed prosthetics made using the FDM process are still rare.
However, this process is already being used in developing even further the prosthetics.
Once the use of the FDM process in creating 3D printed prosthetic parts is already perfected, more people across the globe can surely benefit from it.
There are several reasons why 3D printed prosthetic parts are the best bet in the market today.
The first reason is it can be locally reproduced. There’s no need anymore to spend thousands of dollars in importing it in other countries. Because of it, many locals can have a higher awareness of this amazing technology.
It can also be easily modified and tailor-fitted based on the unique needs of each individual users — offering a better range of movement for amputees.
When a part was broken, it will also be easier to produce another one since the design is already available digitally.
As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented level, expect more improvements and inventions in the field of medicine.
And of course, what we can do for now is to hope that 3D printing will only be used in improving our quality of life and not the other way around.
3D2GO, the pioneering 3D printing shop in the Philippines, offers FDM 3D printing service to its customers. For more information, send your message here.