Growth of 3D Printing in the Medical Field Projected to Improve Patient Outcomes


More than 95 percent of point-of-care (POC) professionals expect to see an expansion of POC manufacturing enabled by additive manufacturing, commonly called 3D printing, according to new research released today by SME in Dearborn (formerly Society of Manufacturing Engineers).

Healthcare providers operate in an evolving environment influenced by policy, regulations, and changing technology can affect the patient experience. 3D printing has shown promise to improve the experience while saving money.

“Physicians as Manufacturers: The Rise of Point-of-Care Manufacturing,” a white paper recently published by SME, details the factors leading to the rise, case studies, examination of POC models, existing challenges, capital investment needs, and expectations for growth.

In addition, the paper unveils results from SME’s Medical Point-of-Care Manufacturing survey, including which 3D printing technologies are being used, the most popular applications, benefits of 3D-printed anatomical models, and applications that are expected to have the greatest growth in 2018.

“The number one priority for healthcare providers remains patient care,” says Lauralyn McDaniel, SME’s medical additive manufacturing industry expert. “The focus is helping fuel the rise of POC manufacturing enabled by additive manufacturing, providing benefits for patients and physicians/institutions including better patient outcomes, less time in the operating room, and reduced costs.

“The POC model is especially noteworthy due to the collaboration between hospitals, device manufacturers, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and partners such as SME. These partnerships drive efficiency through best practice sharing as well as accelerate innovation for applications such as bioprinting and tissue fabrication. They also lay the groundwork for 3D printing of organs and scaling up production of tissues which are still decades away.”

SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia, and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated, and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With more than 85 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training, and development, and also through an education foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce, and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing.

To download the white paper, please visit

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