SME Report: Bioengineers Needed as Medical 3D Printing Industry Expands


The Dearborn-based Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME) Medical Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing Workshop has released a new white paper discussing the opportunities and challenges stemming from the crossover between engineering and biology as 3D printing becomes more prevalent.

From the report, SME believes the industry will need a competency model to help hospitals and device manufacturers recruit and retain the influx of biomedical experts.

“As medicine and engineering come together, we can advance clinical use and impact more patients,” says Lauralyn McDaniel, SME’s medical industry manager. “To accelerate this progress, bioengineers are needed to address both existing applications as well as develop innovations that will enable new applications.”

From prosthetics to advanced tissue applications, 3D printing has evolved from producing prototypes to creating mainstream medical tools used in hospitals globally and is expected to be a $1.2 billion market by 2020.

The challenge in meeting the projected demand is a lack of skilled professionals with both engineering and biology experience to imagine, design, and produce complex anatomical models, procedures, technologies, and other innovations for 3D printing to be used as medical applications.

The full white paper can be downloaded here.