Dental, medical implants to drive 3D printer growth

By staff writers

August 25, 2014 -- Dentures, hip joints, and replacement knees will drive growth in the expanding market for 3D printers over the next decade, according to a new report by market research firm IDTechEx.

The report, "3D Printing 2014-2025: Technologies, Markets, Players," indicates that the medical/dental sector has strong growth potential. The company states that, while the market is currently valued at $141 million, it will grow to $868 million by 2025, led by dental applications and the increasing use for the manufacture of orthopedic implants.

The 3D parts are created by nozzles that lay down fine sedimentary layers of material that build products comparable to manufactured items. Growth of the 3D printing market is being driven by a number of factors, including improved awareness, a reduction in the price of some models of printers, and an increase in the range of materials options available.

While 3D printing of final products is relatively slow compared with traditional manufacturing methods, new, more complex, design avenues are opening up that enable the economic production of lighter components. Applications are also emerging in the medical and dental fields, where the opportunity afforded by inexpensive customization is allowing surgeons to replicate a patient's body based on MRI and CT scans. This means that medical and dental implants that are fully customized to an individual can be created.

Copyright © 2014

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