How 3D Printing Is Revolutionising Health And Nutrition
3D printing is an amazing technology that can be used to manufacture anything from toys to medical supplies. This technology can also be used to print something as large as a house and as small as a vitamin tablet.
One of the main advantages of 3D printing is that it allows for customised prosthetics and orthotics, which are more comfortable for patients. It’s also cheaper than traditional manufacturing methods. This article will explore what this means for our health and nutrition and how it changes how we distribute products.
What is 3D printing, and how does it work?
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has been around for a while but has only recently become affordable enough that anyone could get their hands on 3D printing equipment. Regardless of the material that is printed and the scale of the finished product, the process is very much the same. A digital design is used to instruct a machine to print layers using a material that will build up to create a three-dimensional object.
The material you put into the machine could be anything from concrete to build a wall to sugar to create sweets. The printer will add on more and more layers of material until the object takes shape.
How popular is 3D printing?
It was already quite popular with hobbyists and industry professionals, but the pandemic really helped to boost support for 3D printing. During the pandemic, 3D printing was used to create much-needed PPE for frontline workers. This raised the profile of the technology and also helped larger companies to understand its potential.
By 2026, the value of the global 3D printing market is expected to be around $37.2bn, up from $12.6bn in 2020. This considerable growth is thought to be down to the use of 3D printing in so many areas of society. For example, there are 3D printers that can be used to print houses and cookies, while NASA has an entire division dedicated to printing parts for space exploration.
How is 3D printing used in healthcare?
3D printing is already being used to create prosthetics and orthotics, which can be customised to fit each patient’s body perfectly. This means they’ll be more comfortable than traditional devices, which may be mass-produced and therefore ill-fitting.
This technology is also used to print tiny components for medical instruments and appliances, including tools used in operating theatres and even hearing aids. It’s also possible to print living biological materials such as artificial bones and skin grafts. Your own cells could be placed in a machine and then printed into an implant that would fix damaged tissue and skin.
How is 3D printing used in nutrition?
3D printing isn’t only for creating objects or structures; it can also print food. Anyone with very precise nutritional needs could decide the macronutrient profile of the meal they want to eat and then hit print. This would create a perfectly balanced meal that meets all of their needs.
3D printing could also become a means of getting daily nutrition for those unable to eat solid foods or who have trouble getting all their necessary nutrients from regular meals. This could include children and the elderly.
Another unique way that 3D printing has been put to work in the nutrition sector is by introducing 3D printed vitamins. This allows the manufacturer to customise the vitamin profile to an individual, giving them the exact formulation they need.
One company leading the way in 3D vitamin printing is Nourished. This startup turned to 3D printing out of an unwillingness to head down the traditional manufacturing route. Instead, they were attracted to the agile production process that would enable them to change formulaions and bring them to market in as little as 14 days.
What does the future hold for 3D printing?
Currently, 3D printing is being used to create many different products, from medical equipment to food. In the future, you might be able to bring your designs and customise anything you want by picking out the material and creating exactly what you need. 3
3D printing is revolutionising health and nutrition by allowing for customised prosthetics and orthotics, which are more comfortable than traditional devices. It’s also cheaper than conventional manufacturing methods. The future of 3D printing looks bright as this technology could be used to print food, vitamins, or even the next generation of medical equipment.
If you can think of it, you can create it. And this is one of the reasons that individuals are so captivated by the concept of 3D printing. Anyone can have an idea for a product and quickly bring it to life. This could revolutionise the way we invent and innovate.
But it could also lead to copyright infringement on a large scale. This is because 3D printing would challenge the entire concept of copyright, patents and trademarks.