Research Brief on Additive manufacturing and Healthcare, with a specific focus on the printing of custom medical devices

Authors: Matt Ratto

Executive Summary

Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) is currently being used to produce a variety of medical devices including implants, hearing aides, guides for surgery and training, and custom prosthetic and orthotic devices.  The focus of brief is on currently deployable and in some cases commercially-available AM healthcare products. Therefore, newer and more research-oriented AM processes such as bio-printing is not discussed. It is our argument that AM innovations can provide enhanced treatment options for personalized healthcare, but that the successful extension of AM innovations into mainstream medical practice requires deeper attention to the social context of production and use. Two example projects are discussed.  


Ratto, Matt. (2017) "Research Brief on Additive manufacturing and Healthcare, with a specific focus on the printing of custom medical devices." Remarks to the Senate of Canada, March 8.

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