As many families and individuals have already realized, traditional prosthetic models are often very large and can be burdensome or inconvenient to use. They are also typically very expensive, with a per device price-tag in the tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes even more.
The manufacturing world is embracing 3D metal printing in a big way. GE Aviation is using it to print fuel nozzles, saving aircraft owners millions in operation costs annually per plane. Medical device companies use it to print patient-specific orthopedic implants and life-saving surgical instruments. These are just a few examples of the gigantic strides metal printing has made over the past decade, with countless more to come as the technology becomes increasingly main stream.
hat being said, reality is that the medical device manufacturing industry has seen significant layoffs over the last few years due to cost pressure, increased regulatory and public scrutiny, costly recalls and the demands of globalization. Cost-cutting initiatives in the healthcare sector have put significant pressure on prices. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are moving more of their component manufacturing out to contract manufacturing suppliers while focusing their time and resources on enhancing innovation and bringing new products faster to market.