3D printing has had and will continue to have impacts on many areas. One of the most hotly anticipated areas for 3D printing to impact is medicine. A myriad of stories have appeared pointing to all manner of exciting innovations in the medical field. Sadly many of the “3D printed ear/nose/heart/ etc.” stories have been rather disingenuous or are at the very least very optimistic. To give you a more accurate view of the possibilities of 3D printing in medicine we’ll look at one particular area: surgery. In surgery there are a number of things happening currently with 3D printing and a number of things that may happen. In general we can say that 3D printing will have a considerable impact on surgery in the near term but that we can not fully predict future impacts at this moment. First we will look at what is happening right now in medical offices, surgical theaters and in patients.
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