White Paper

3D Printing in the Hospital

This report reviews the clinical and economic impacts of 3D printing, as well as challenges and opportunities for 3D printing technology as its use expands across healthcare delivery settings.

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Introduction: 3D Printing in Healthcare

The 3D Printing Process: An Overview

Evaluating the Evidence: Clinical Benefits of 3D Printing

Evaluating the Evidence: Economic Benefits of 3D Printing

Regulatory Background

Quality Assurance

Medical Use Cases



Supply Chain

The Future of 3D Printing in Healthcare Markets

Introduction: 3D Printing in Healthcare

Healthcare stakeholders are looking for solutions that improve clinical outcomes, personalize medical treatments, and mitigate unnecessary costs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the use of 3D printing is a growing force in healthcare markets.

The first 3D printer was developed in the early 1980s, changing the way many industries approached prototyping and production. In contrast to other manufacturing techniques (e.g., subtractive processes or molding), 3D printing pioneered the process of joining materials together layer-by-layer based on a computer model. The result? The ability to create customized products, at the point-of-care, for a fraction of the cost.

Across the last 30 years, applications for 3D printing technology have expanded widely across many sectors, including healthcare, which represented ~11% of the $6B additive manufacturing market in 2017. Traditionally, the uses for 3D printing in healthcare have included patient-specific
anatomical models, surgical guides, and affordable prostheses.

The 3D Printing Process: An Overview

The Formlabs 3D printing process in the medical space involves five, simple steps

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