A New Dimension to Medicine Manufacture
Fabricating medicine using a printer may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the technology exists – and the pharma industry has finally taken the plunge. The FDA approved the first 3D-printed drug in August, and with researchers working on printing everything from tablets to organs, the big question is, will more approvals follow?
Stephanie Sutton |
Watching a 3D printer in action is like magic; it seems as if a solid object is being made from thin air. But if you’re into technology, you’ll know that 3D printers typically construct objects by layering material from a filament inside the printer. So not quite magic, but impressive nonetheless – it’s hardly surprising that it has captured the attention and imagination of people everywhere, from engineers, to researchers, to everyday consumers. Companies are using 3D printing for many applications including printing parts in the automotive and aerospace industries, producing toys, creating food and even printing shoes. The technology can print complex geometries and shapes that might not be possible using traditional manufacturing methods, as well as one-off custom parts, which has made it popular in prototyping.
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