When you think of 3d printing, you may have already started considering 3d-printed décor, jewelery, housing structures and food.
However, 3D printing technology has a far more integral use in the field of medicine and health. While 3D printed pills remain a distant possibility, 3D-printed prosthetic limbs are a legitimate option that is available today.
Advancements in 3D printing technology have filtered to the field of medicine and health, with new innovations being developed to address previously unchartered ground.
The use of 3D printing for prosthetics and replacement limbs has allowed a significant reduction in the cost of replacement of lost limbs, which has given hope to a large number of people who may have previously been unable to afford this.
Why 3D printing?
Prosthetics are a necessary part of human health. Not every person is born with the standard set of limbs or parts, and prosthetics allow anyone born with a shortfall to address it.
Prosthetics have steadily advanced, from wooden toes in the 16th century to customized prosthetics featuring nanotechnology-based sensors and microprocessors that are designed to ensure hydraulic and pneumatic control to mirror an actual limb.
Here are some of the reasons why 3D printed prosthetics could revolutionize medicine.
They are affordable
3D printed prosthetics are certainly more affordable than their traditional contemporaries. Instead of spending a fortune on replacement parts, amputees could consider cheaper alternatives that rely on 3D printing.
These prosthetics are affordable, which makes it easy for low income families to provide for members who would otherwise would have been financially burdensome.
It could enable young amputees receive prosthetics that match their growth and activity levels without incurring heavy expenses.
They are actually good
3D printed prosthetics are not just hand-shaped plastic fittings that work to replace lost limbs. They feature next level sensors which can mirror haptic, pneumatic and hydraulic responses, allowing for the user to enjoy the feeling of a real arm.
The potential benefits at a really low cost makes 3D printed prosthetics potentially the g-to replacement parts. Over time, the range of motions and sensory responses will have to be improved to perfectly mirror a real arm.
They will increase physical independence
Losing a limb will usually attract some type of dependence because they are so integral to everyday life.
3D printing technology allows people experiencing this to overcome the dependence that may result from it. While it is difficult to make prosthetics that work exactly like your limb, 3D printing technology will bridge the gap and provide a prosthetic that could serve sufficient purpose.