Penn Center for Innovation

Three-dimensional printing turns fiction into medical reality

Posted on July 25, 2019 — Jessica Jones Gupta

Three-dimensional printing—sometimes called additive manufacturing—uses millions of coordinates to deposit small amounts of material in specific areas based on a computer-aided design (CAD). While the technology dates back to the mid-1980s, it’s only been in the past several years that its potential has come to the forefront, especially in the health care environment. Indeed, 3D printing has successfully replicated everything from personalized prosthetics to complex blood vessels and even a “designer” pill that combines several medications with timed releases.

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