3D Printing and Your Health

The concept sounds fantastic: printers that can manufacture everything from weapons to body parts. Far from being just another case of sci-fi wishful thinking, though, it appears that 3D printing is the real deal … and that it will soon dramatically change the world of medicine.

How 3D printing works

Starting with a digital blueprint, 3D printers create layer after layer of the object — and not from paper only, but from liquids, powders, metals, or even biological material. Check out this video about the technology:

Bioprinting is already underway

Some say the new 3D printing technology will revolutionize medicine and extend expected lifespan by 40 years or more. Others scoff at the idea, saying there are too many barriers to success. One thing for certain, bioprinted body parts are already a reality. CNN calls bioprinted organs the “next frontier” and Forbes says it may be the “future of medicine.”

How can 3D medicine help you?

Right now, our job is to wait. We are on the verge of a breakthrough, but it isn’t here yet. Ask your physician about bioprinting. He or she can help keep you informed. You should also stay aware of opportunities to donate to research on bioprinting and support legislation that will enhance the funding. It is that important.

Here is another video, this one from Brigham and Women’s Hospital:

These are exciting times to be alive … and 3D printing in medical applications may be a way to stay alive longer. Time will definitely tell.