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Published on June 10th, 2016 | by Geetika Bhasin

Growth of 3D printing technology in healthcare

There has been a phenomenal growth in the use of 3D printing technology to develop new products in the healthcare sector. It initially occupied a minute segment of the 3D print technology and has now become a full grown industry with great potential. There have been developments in the prosthesis manufacturing, bioprinting, and medical implants, but there still lies tremendous scope in this area and is expected to grow leaps and bounds till 2020.
As per the recent findings of the IndustryArc, the growth in the health care 3D printing sector has led to the bifurcation of this industry into various categories and segments. The technology segment has subcategories like fused deposition modelling (FDM), Stereolithography, laser beam melting (LBM), and electron beam melting(EBM), to name a few. The raw materials like metals, resin, biological materials, and more, used in this technology also occupy an entire section.
Based on the findings of the IndustryArc, the worldwide medical 3D print market had revenues worth $487 million in 2014 and is expected to grow at the rate of 18.3% annually till 2020. This growth could be attributed to the adoption of the 3D print technology in the numerous medical applications. The sectors that have seen huge growths in 3 D print technologies are dental and medical implants, which use metal and ceramic materials for making 3D dental crowns and varied types of biomaterials, which are used by the health research industry.
The material segment of the medical 3D print technology earned revenue of $284.7 million in 2014 and is expected to grow further at the pace of 19.1 % till 2020. The materials used in this segment are metal, plastic, ceramics, donor cells, bone cement and other biomaterials. These raw materials are extremely expensive but with the widespread use and technological advancements, the costs are expected to decline.
There is a growing demand for customised patient products for orthopaedics and maxillofacial surgeries. Further, research is ongoing in the field of tissue engineering and it is predicted that the tissues evolved from bio 3D printing could be used in the manufacture of new organs and tissues for transplants. Government subsidies and medical research grants would go a long way in reducing 3D medical technology costs.
North America is the largest market for 3D print health care and occupied 39.7% of the market share in 2014. It is followed by Europe and then APAC (Asia Pacific) subsequently. The Asia Pacific market is the fastest growing market with a growth rate higher than North America and Europe.
As per the IndustryARC market research reports, the companies engaged in medical 3D applications and products are 3D systems, Stratasys, Digilab, MicroFab Technologies, nScrypt, Envision TEC, Invetech, and Tevido BioDevices.


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