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How Plastic-enabled 3D Printing Is Driving Personalization In Healthcare

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Personalization is transforming the healthcare sector, with focus on tailored treatments that takes into account the patient’s genetic profile, physiology, and response to drugs. There are several technologies that have emerged to facilitate this paradigm shift from a one-size-fits-all approach to personalized medicine. Foremost among these technologies is 3D printing with plastic derivatives helping to lead this charge.

The need for 3D Printing

Every human body is different – no two kidneys, hearts, vertebrae or knee joints are identical. Since every patient is unique, the need for personalized health intervention is paramount. Over the years, rapid strides have been made to develop accurate anatomical models and prosthetics that are highly personalized.

3D printing is used globally to enhance patient care across the healthcare lifecycle, from investigation and planning to post-operative and procedural processes. In prosthetics, for example, plastic-enabled 3D printing can be created to ensure maximum comfort for patients. The geometrical freedom offered by 3D printing ensures that new and complex design structures can be manufactured for stronger prostheses.

3D printing has immensely benefited surgeons, providing them with precise patient-based anatomical models in 3D form. Surgeons can then repeatedly practice the procedure on the 3D model to ensure optimal surgical processes and favorable patient outcomes.

Plastics and 3D Printing

Due to its ease of manufacture, versatility, water resistance and low cost, plastic is used in 3D printing for a wide range of sectors. Since plastic is lighter than its metal equivalents, it is the preferred choice for 3D designers. 3D parts printed from plastic are durable enough to make anatomical figures that can withstand high impact and heat.

Common plastic derivatives used for 3D printing include:

  1. ABS

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or ABS is a strong and flexible plastic that’s ideal for prototyping from a 3D perspective. ABS is very popular among 3D printing professionals, thanks to its resistance to high temperature and impact. It can help produce shiny and smooth surfaces that can be joined together through chemical processes.

  1. PLA

Polylactic Acid or PLA ranks among the most preferred materials used in 3D printing, especially Fused Deposition Modeling or FDM. It is easy to use, environment-friendly and very low warping issues. PLA is also biodegradable.

  1. ASA

Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate or ASA is an all-purpose thermoplastic, perfect for many 3D applications. It possesses similar chemical characteristics to ABS plastic but has better aesthetics and mechanical properties.

  1. PET

Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET offers similar strength to ABS. It offers good heat resistance, strength, dimensional stability, chemical resistance and water resistance.

  1. PETG

Glycolized polyester or PETG is a temperature-resistant, durable and impact-resistant plastic used in FDM 3D printing.

  1. Polycarbonate (PC)

Polycarbonate or PC offers high transparency and impact resistance. It is a strong yet lightweight thermoplastic, ideal for a wide range of 3D printing applications.

The demand for the plastic derivatives highlighted above is going to increase exponentially in the next few years. If you would like to be a part of this 3D printing revolution or have an interest in the plastic industry, then Plastivision 2023 must definitely be in your visit list. To be held from December 7 to 11, 2023, Plastivision is India’s leading plastics exhibition and we look forward to your participation!

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