The future of the medical industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with 3D printing being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on medical companies.
The market for 3D printing in healthcare is a growing one, driven by the demands of an ageing population that is living longer in many countries, with a consequent increase in demand for dental work and devices such as hearing aids or implants. 3D printing is playing a growing role in medical training – such as the 3D printing of organs – or even on the operating table, where 3D printed tools can guide surgeons. The demands and potential of the medical market have materials and systems players working together to ensure their solutions are compatible with healthcare markets.
Materialise and HP, for example, are collaborating to ensure that HP Jet Fusion 580/380 printers will work with Materialise’s Mimics image processing software technology, to be able to print robust full-colour anatomical models for diagnostic and surgical planning processes. This includes cardiac, orthopaedic and craniomaxillofacial models, complete with vascular structure, that have been historically difficult to 3D print.
However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.
Insight from a top ranked company
Siemens’ digital enterprise suite is widely used to provide supporting software for 3D printing and it has relationships with many of the key 3D printer companies, including HP and ExOne. The suite is based on Siemens PL software solutions, including NX, its integrated CAD/CAM/CAE solution; the Simcener solution portfolio, a simulation and testing programme; Teamcenter, a digital product lifecycle management system; Simatic IT and Simatic WinCC, two products from the Siemens manufacturing operations management (MOM) portfolio for production; and MindSphere, its cloud-based, open IoT operating system.
Last year Siemens opened a new 3D printing facility in the UK. The 4,500 square metre facility enables the company to expand its capacity to 50 machines, which will produce high-end serial parts for Siemens Power and Gas and customers in the aerospace, automotive, motorsport, and other industries. As a specialist in the concept of ‘digital twins’, Siemens offers a simulation solution that creates digital twins of 3D-printed metal objects, making it possible in advance to identify potential deformation during production and to modify the object before printing.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 3D Printing.
- Quest Diagnostics
- Agilent Technologies
- Nihon Kohden
- Becton Dickinson
- Intuitive Surgical
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Edwards Lifesciences