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3d printing applications for medical industry

The medical sector at the forefront of 3d printing

With a compound annual growth rate of 18.2 percent, the global healthcare 3D printing market is expected to generate $3.69 billion by 2026, according to Allied Market Research. In addition to the fact that 3d printing has strong value in terms of developing medical devices, educational or communication tools, and personalized patient care, COVID-19 showed the true value of on-demand manufacturing for the medical industry when non-healthcare OEMs repurposed their fleets of 3D printers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) or other devices used to combat the virus.


Benefits of using additive manufacturing in the healthcare industry

  • Rapid prototyping to design and print multiple iterations faster than ever before

  • Customization for medical device development or personalized patient care
  • Additive manufacturing is extremely efficient when complexity is concerned

  • Advanced materials with biocompatibility characteristics, static dissipative capabilities or improved mechanical properties for end-use applications

  • Faster speed-to-market and on demand part production with a global 3D printing network

Barriers to the application of 3d printing in the medical sector

  • Regulatory and standardization: must comply with standards and regulations provided by healthcare agencies like the FDA.

  • Data requirement and management: it is critical to accurately collect and maintain complete data on how a medical device was manufactured and inspected.

  • Repeatable production: in medical device manufacturing, it is essential that all production steps and parameters are determined, monitored and controlled to ensure the quality and consistency of the parts.

The digital thread as the backbone of a successful AM journey

Digitization of the value chain is at the heart of the AM strategy, which aims to centralize data in order to connect and integrate systems with each other and to gather and store critical production data in one place and in real time.


1. Data management is the key to accelerate the digital transformation

With Agile ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), all communications, order selections, and production requirements are stored in a single system. You can submit requests, price parts and place orders in seconds instead of days. Comparing internal resources with external capabilities facilitates better production decision making.

  • Collect the right data with part requirements: define part requirements during ordering to save hours tracking down information later. Custom forms gather the production data you need.
  • Ensure delivery date with status tracking: in the Agile ERP, delivery date, production status, part information and processing stages are all visible in a searchable and sortable interface. 


Learn more about Agile ERP
3d printing workflow software for medical industry

2. Unlock Shop-floor automation

To scale additive manufacturing without headcount increase, the Agile MES (Manufacturing Execution System) automates planning, scheduling and tracking of the production floor. 

  • Digital tools for agile scheduling: prioritize parts, assign parts to custom AM workflows, reschedule when production changes, generate production sheets.
  • Tracking and QA along the full value chain: Digital tracking and documentation are huge advances for AM quality assurance. Machine connectivity, digital signatures and prediction help prepare for full automation.

Why is AM workflow software essential?

Implementing a digital thread with the Agile ERP and MES software platforms enables:

  • 80% time reduction from project creation to orders processing (including quoting and data preparation)
  • Offload repetitive orders to focus on high value-added and high complexity parts
  • 90% reduction of necessary process steps for jobs scheduling and documentation 
  • 130- 150% higher machine utilization with our smart scheduling tools

Going further...

How to harness the power of 3D printing in the medical sector

The ultimate guide for a complete digitization.

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Quality control and machine monitoring in the medical industry

3D Friday Talk Show on Machine connectivity, where Dr. Felix Wunner talks about the importance of quality control and machine monitoring in the medical industry

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How 3D printing is useful in fighting the covid pandemic

3D Friday Talk Show episode on Justifying the costs of AM, where Naomi Murray, Director, Advanced Operations at STRYKER talks about how 3D printing was useful in fighting the covid pandemic.

Watch the replay

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