Additive fabrication technologies applied to medicine and health care: a review

  • J. Giannatsis
  • V. DedoussisEmail author


Additive fabrication (AF) and rapid prototyping (RP) technologies are mostly associated with applications in the product development and the design process as well as with small batch manufacturing. Due to their relatively high speed and flexibility, however, they have also been employed in various non-manufacturing applications. A field that attracts increasingly more attention by the scientific community is related to the application of AF technologies in medicine and health care. The associated research is focused both on the development of specifically modified or new methods and systems based on AF principles, as well as on the applications of existing systems assisting health care services. In this paper, representative case studies and research efforts from the field of AF medical applications are presented and discussed in detail. The case studies included cover applications like the fabrication of custom implants and scaffolds for rehabilitation, models for pre-operating surgical planning, anatomical models for the mechanical testing and investigation of human bones or of new medical techniques, drug delivery devices fabrication, as well as the development of new AF techniques specifically designed for medical applications.


Additive fabrication Rapid prototyping Rapid manufacturing Biomodelling Scaffold fabrication Medical applications 


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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Product Development and Rapid PrototypingUniversity of PiraeusPiraeusGreece

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