Healthcare is one of the industries to most dramatically see changes occur due to the use of 3D printing technology. In fact, market research firm Gartner suggests that it is the medical sector that is leading the advancement of 3D printing over other industries.
3D printing has already become the dominant technology used to manufacture patient-specific hearing aids and dental aligners and, more recently, 3D printing has become increasingly leveraged for the manufacturing of patient-tailored implants, such as knee and hip replacements. This is clearly just the beginning for additively manufactured products in the medical space, which will one day include 3D-printed organs and patient-specific pharmaceuticals.
Among the large industrial players to adopt 3D printing for the production of medical products is Johnson & Johnson, a multinational corporation with some 250 subsidiaries across 57 countries and a market cap of $323.8 billion. While the multinational’s 3D-printed orthopedic implants have been on the market for several years, Johnson & Johnson is also partnering with some of the most exciting firms in the 3D printing space, such as Carbon, HP, Organovo and Materialise.
To learn more about how the corporation will leverage the technologies from these firms, I spoke with Joseph Sendra, worldwide vice president of manufacturing engineering & technology for Johnson & Johnson. As one might expect from a multinational corporation with some 250 subsidiaries across 57 countries and a market cap of $323.8 billion, the executive could not divulge too much about what Johnson & Johnson is working on behind closed doors, but Sendra was able to layout the corporation’s larger vision for 3D printing technology.