Fundamentals of 3D Printing and Its Applications in Biomedical Engineering

Part of the Materials Horizons: From Nature to Nanomaterials book series (MHFNN)


Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an additive manufacturing technique, which is based on the addition of layers of material to each other according to 3D geometric data, allowing for the rapid transition of the designed parts to the production phase. In the 3D printing technique, no material is wasted, and no mold is required as in other traditional manufacturing methods such as plastic injection, casting, and machining. In this method, free-form parts can be practically produced, and the production of a new part having different geometries can be carried out quickly. Three-dimensional printing is much more suitable for the production of prototypes and custom-made designs than serial production. The variety of materials used in the 3D printer technology is continuously increasing. Today, plastic, metal, composite, and organic materials can be used in 3D printing. Development of the 3D technology enables us to produce parts with different design features. The most common of these technologies are known as fused deposition modeling (FDM), stereolithography (SLA), digital light processing (DLP), and selective laser sintering (SLS). In general, they are all based on the principle of additive layer manufacturing. Three-dimensional printing is also ideal for the creation of complex anatomical models and the production of biomedical devices with free-form geometry. Three-dimensional printers can save cost and time and enable clinical trial devices to be produced and used more frequently. Considering that the production of some of the medical devices is quite challenging due to the small size and complicated structure, the effectiveness of the 3D printing method becomes much more visible. In this chapter, different 3D printing methods and related materials used in the biomedical field are explained and critical examples from recent scientific studies are given. In addition, a number of practical works including 3D printing in biomedical engineering have been reviewed and a preliminary assessment of the use of 3D printers in future biomedical studies has been made.


3D printer 3D printing technologies 3D printing methods Biomedical devices Maxillofacial surgery Orthopedic surgery Human arm prosthetics Additive manufacturing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Automotive Technology, Vocational School of Technical SciencesIstanbul University-CerrahpasaIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringIstanbul University-CerrahpasaAvcilar, IstanbulTurkey

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