oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - Rapid prototyping and manufacturing in medical product development
RP and recently RM have been key factors in the development of the manufacturing industry in assisting in the development of new products. Fortunately, the application of these technologies has been realised in the medical industry. Surgeons all over the world use physical models created from CT or MRI data using some sort of additive manufacturing. The fabrication of these models has exploded into a popular research area combining engineering, material and medical expertise. Long-term growth in the additive fabrication industry will come from designs that are difficult, time-consuming, costly, or impossible to produce using standard techniques. Growth will occur with advances in current additive processes which are coupled with breakthroughs in new materials. The applications of RP and RM are as diverse as the medical issues that arise. RM of custom design medical prostheses proves to be economically viable solution, not only because it is faster to produce but it gives the designer freedom of creation too. The paper discusses some interesting medical case studies.
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