In depth: Why 3D printing will save your life one day


The simple fact is really sick and desperate people are left frustrated by modern medicine for a number of reasons.

Those seeking transplants have to wait on long lists, and if they do eventually find a donor, their body might reject the tissue. Patients in need of casts or equipment to help them heal often only have expensive choices made of heavy materials.

And those in developing countries don’t have access to the medication they so desperately need — often resorting to black market options that are unreliable and dangerous.

These are only a small handful of the problems that 3D printing could eradicate completely, creating personal, bespoke solutions that are tailored to each patient, where materials are light and comparatively cheaper than traditional options. And crucially, 3D printers can be taken anywhere, so those in remote locations aren’t left without – and they can even print hair.

What does the future hold?

3D printing is already giving amputees a new lease of life and turbocharging healing time with tailor-made super-healing casts, but the future looks even brighter and more exciting.

We’re not even talking about the ‘boring’ consumer applications, where digital rights management will allow us to print something like a new pair of glasses for yourself without having to pay an optician, book an appointment and waste time at a fitting – although even that is revolutionary.