Due to advances in 3d rapid prototyping technologies, doctors are now making house calls, but not to a patient’s home. Rather they are visiting 3d rapid prototyping labs where they can see their new medical instruments become prototypes before it’s used during a surgical procedure.
Over the past few years, 3D rapid prototyping technologies have made a tremendous impact in the medical community, more specifically on surgical techniques.
Because doctors are becoming more involved in the rapid prototyping process, it improves the quality of the design of the medical instruments often used for complicated and sensitive surgical procedures.
How the prototyping process works is straight-forward. The 3d rapid prototyping technology allows for the extrusion of a thermoplastic material and deposits it layer-by-layer to form a 3D model. It then undergoes evaluation by the doctor (surgeon), onsite, who can evaluate the medical instrument first-hand, testing its working properties, such as grip, movement, flexibility, etc. During this phase the medical instruments can be refined more readily by the engineers to meet the demanding specifications that the doctors require.
With surgeons now being part of the development process, it eliminates the costly back-and-forth communication between the medical instrument manufacturer and the end-user. This practical approach of involving the end-user during 3D rapid prototyping facilities the development process, as it has helped engineers in delivering medical instruments with the surgical precisions required to ensure a successful outcome. The results are undeniably more rewarding for both sides, as all the revisions of the medical instruments are completed during the schematic process, which results in a higher-quality end product and offers financial advantages for the manufacturer.