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White Paper

3D Printing: New Opportunities for the Medical Devices Industry


The industry players presently are evaluating several alternatives to address high development cost concerns for new and enhanced medical devices. One promising option taking the forefront is 3D printing technology that involves leveraging additive manufacturing processes that use a layer by layer material build-up process to create 3-dimensional objects.

Today, 3D printing is emerging as a cost effective, efficient, and customized manufacturing option for the medical devices industry—applicable to a range of devices such as dental implants, hearing aids, prostheses, custom-made knee and hip implants, and surgical instruments

3D Printing is poised to bring about a number of landmark changes or enhancements, revolutionizing the medical devices industry. Some of these are:

  • Encouraging New Entrants
  • Optimizing Device Design and Development
  • Reconfiguring Supply Chain
  • Precision Planning for Surgeries

Medical device manufacturers can leverage the multiple possibilities and business opportunities created by this technology. Some of the most evident benefits are:

  • Addressing the Market Need for Personalization of Medical Devices
  • Increased Ability to Innovate
  • Reduced Time-to-Market
  • Reduced Lifecycle Costs

However, despite being a highly advantageous technology, 3D printing does have its own set of challenges such as:

  • Quality and Regulatory Challenges
  • Challenges related to choosing the Right Candidate for 3D printing
  • Mechanical Properties and Bio-compatibility Challenges
  • Reimbursement Challenges

Through early adoption, 3D printing can help medical device manufacturers realize competitive advantage, while also reducing the time-to-market and manufacturing costs. Going beyond operations, medical device manufacturers can collaborate closely with partners to leverage this innovative technology and realize new efficiencies and deliver value to all stakeholders.

Read this paper for an insight into the new opportunities in this area, ways to overcome potential challenges and various 3D printing business models to improve ease of adoption.