Opportunities for additive manufacturing in medical devices

Opportunities for additive manufacturing in medical devices

3D printing technologies to significantly disrupt business models, process chains in orthotics, prosthetics market, impact 35% of all medical devices by 2027.

3D/Additive/Alternative Devices/Implants/Equipment

Crozet, Virginia – The latest medical 3D printing industry report from SmarTech Publishing projects a disruptive impact for a number of key 3D printing technologies and applications within the multi-billion dollar orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) market over the coming decade. Early research and applications have demonstrated a unique ability for 3D printing to completely revolutionize business models and access to custom and functional prosthetic and orthotic medical devices. Further adoption of 3DP in O&P markets from today’s early innovators is projected to eventually impact an estimated 35 percent of all devices produced, while generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact and revenue opportunities for 3D printing solutions.

Early experiments with 3D printing of orthotic and prosthetic devices have proven 3D printing, as a digitally enabled process, can expand access to medical devices through disruptive cost-to-value ratio and flexible on-demand manufacturing.

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The report focuses much of its 120 pages of content and market analysis on applications and industry adoption of 3D printing in orthotic and prosthetic devices, including upper and lower extremity prosthetic applications, to the manufacture of orthotic insoles and ankle-foot orthotic style braces.

Report features include:

  • Ten year revenue opportunity forecasts for sale of printers by technology, print material by form factor and polymer/alloy family, print services by device type, and software by tool functionality
  • Penetration and economic impact analysis of adoption of 3D printing in the existing markets for prosthetic and orthotic devices, including total market valuation of printed medical devices or device components where relevant, and the penetration of 3D printing as a production process compared to incumbent methods of manufacturing
  • Production volume forecasts for printed prosthetics, orthotics, and related components by device type through 2027, split by print material where relevant

From the report

  • The manufacture of custom orthotic insoles using polymer powder bed fusion and material extrusion 3D printing technologies are expected to disrupt the business model and care structure for custom orthotics worldwide, and may significantly shift the role of the podiatrist in the dispensing of orthotic insoles in the future. This could spark adoption of low cost printing technologies directly in-office by foot care specialists.
  • In prosthetics, 3D printing holds promise as a production process to upend the traditional market where prosthetic devices often cost between $10,000 and $50,000 or more, and only have an expected useful product lifecycle of five years or less. Digital manufacturing allows not only for the potential for the creation of much more accessible devices from a cost perspective, but also for a much more sustainable approach to life-long amputee care through a digitally powered process using scanning and imaging technology.