How 3D printing helps precision medicine?

3D printing helps precision medicine

Often patients may be used to being in a doctor’s or specialist’s office and looking at x-ray results for analysis, but has the use of 3D technology ever occurred to you? As the healthcare industry faces providing a more personalized, value-based approach to care as part of preoperative and patient consultations, physicians and surgeons are taking advantage of advanced 3D printing capabilities to provide better preoperative communication to their patients.

Printing patient-specific 3D anatomical models

Every surgeon is well-versed in basic anatomy, but for less common and high-risk procedures, 3D anatomical models can also improve surgical outcomes and communication efficiency.

Instead of relying on traditional methods of imaging and using surgery, physicians can use 3D printers to generate highly patient-specific models from CT and MRI scans in the field. 3D printed anatomical models from patients are becoming an increasingly useful tool in today’s precision surgical practices. As cases become more complex and OR efficiency becomes increasingly important, full-size tactile reference models can enhance patient understanding and improve communication within the OR team and with patients.

Not only can physicians simply explain complex procedures to patients, but they can also use 3D printing to guide them better through the procedure using models of anatomical structures. It has been documented that the addition of a 3D model communication component provides patients with a higher level of comfort and allows them to be more supportive of their potential medical procedure or that of their family.

In addition to using 3D printing to obtain patient consent for upcoming surgeries and procedures, generating a tactile reference model of the patient helps physicians better prepare for the upcoming procedure – which may reduce time, cost and complications in the operating room. Minimizing length of stay, it also minimizes COVID exposure, reduces burnout from frequent overwork, and allows hospitals to efficiently handle higher surgical backlogs.

All of these factors combine to help improve overall patient understanding and satisfaction, as well as clinical and process factors.

Practical use and application

In a recent case study, the patient had severe damage to the root bone of the left foot and urgently required surgical treatment. Radiographs and CT scans showed multiple old injuries in the affected area with complex deformities. The surgery in this case involved many sites and was complex and difficult.

Prior to performing the surgery, the surgeon performed 3D printing of the patient’s problematic bones, with enlightening results. Through preoperative previews and discussions, the best plan for performing the surgery was accurately found, which will be much less invasive, reduce surgical injuries and time, and minimize injuries for the patient.

The future of 3D printing in healthcare

The technology is at a turning point for the healthcare industry. Once medical 3D printing can be rolled out in a big way at no additional cost. As the technology becomes more affordable, there is evidence that the future could provide better patient-physician communication for more informed medical consent in more hospitals.

In 2022, demand will continue to grow for 3D printers that can provide anatomically specific replicas for surgeries and patients. The adoption of 3D printing in the healthcare industry will become more common in the future, while this new technology will be relied upon to innovate the advancement and growth of the healthcare industry.

3D printing technology was once a novelty, but now it’s making significant contributions to various fields. Precision medicine is one of them, where 3D printing is playing a crucial role in the development and manufacturing of tailor-made medical devices and implants. This type of manufacturing has created the potential for improving medical care by providing personalized solutions for patients. In this blog, we will explore how 3D printing is helping with precision medicine, and how this technology can change modern medicine.

How is 3D Printing Helpful for Medicine?

The use of 3D printing has revolutionized the medical sector, from orthopedics to prosthetics, even in organ printing. In the past, medical devices, implants, and prosthetics often required custom manufacturing processes that were time-consuming, expensive, and subject to a greater risk of errors. 3D printing has streamlined the production process, providing more accurate results by allowing the use of patient-specific data, creating solutions that are tailored to individual needs. In orthopedic surgery, for example, 3D printing creates patient-specific tools and implants, allowing for a more refined surgical experience. Overall, 3D printing is helpful for medicine by enabling custom manufacturing, increasing efficiency, and precision, as well as improved patient outcomes.

3D printing is a technology that creates three-dimensional objects from digital models by depositing layers of material. 3D printing has many benefits for medicine, such as:

  • It can help perform complex operations by creating accurate and detailed anatomical models that simulate real human parts. This can improve surgical planning, education and outcomes.
  • It can produce customized implants and prostheses that fit the patient’s unique anatomy and needs. This can reduce the risk of infection, rejection and complications, as well as enhance the functionality and comfort of the devices.
  • It can reduce the costs and time of manufacturing medical devices by using less material and equipment, and by eliminating the need for external suppliers. This can also increase the availability and accessibility of medical devices for patients in remote areas or developing countries.

3D printing is revolutionizing health care by enabling more personalized, precise and efficient solutions for various medical challenges.

How Can 3D Printing Change Medicine?

3D printing has the potential to revolutionize medicine by creating possibilities that were once thought impossible. One of the most significant advantages of 3D printing in medicine is personalized medicine, the creation of personalized implants, and customized prescription drugs with unique dosages and tailored chemical formulations. Using 3D printers to manufacture personalized prescription drugs will address the need to provide medication to patients with specific, rare illnesses, such as various genetic disorders. The technology also allows researchers to create replicas of organs, tissues, and blood vessels that can be used for testing new drugs, therapeutic techniques, and patient education.

Are 3D Printers Being Used for Producing Personalised Prescription Drugs?

Yes, researchers are actively exploring the development and production of personalized prescription drugs using 3D printing technology. With 3D printing, pharmacists can design and 3D print prescription drugs with tailored dosages. Personalized drug formulations ensure that patients receive the medications they need with the correct dosage to suit their conditions. Companies are exploring the production of customized medications that are instantly producible, reducing the need for waiting for medication from other locations, thus reducing the hurdles of traditional pharmaceutical production and distribution systems.


The healthcare industry has been continually striving for ways to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare disparities. 3D printing technology is revolutionizing medicine, producing custom medical devices, implants, and prescription drugs, providing increased efficiency, affordability, and precision. With the advent of personalized medicine, 3D printing can further enable healthcare solutions to meet the specific needs of patients. The future of 3D printing technology in medicine is exciting, with endless possibilities for improving patient care in ways we have yet to imagine.

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