Current and potential applications of 3D printing in a general hospital

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Eddous, Sayfeddine (1,2); Lamé, Guillaume (2); Decante, Benoît (1); Yannou, Bernard (2); Agathon, Antoine (1); Aubrège, Laure (1); Talon, Valérie (1); Dacosta-Noble, Éléonore (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Groupe Hospitalier Paris Saint-Joseph; 2: Laboratoire Genie Industriel, CentraleSupélec, Université Paris-Saclay
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1117-1126
DOI number:


3D printing is widely touted as a game changer in medicine and surgery, paving the way for point-of-care production of personalised medical devices. Nonetheless, to date, most reported applications of 3D printing in healthcare are restricted to specific scenarios in a few surgical disciplines, and little research exists on how 3D printing can be deployed more systematically beyond pioneer surgical departments. To understand the potential for 3D printing at a hospital level, we report the results of an interview study in a French general hospital. We analyse the current use of 3D printing and estimate the potential for new applications. We explore what share of these applications could be internalised, and what would be the organisational implications and the key success factors for an internal 3D printing unit. We find a large untapped potential for internal production of 3D printed products, spanning a much broader range of applications and hospital departments than what currently exists in the hospital. We then discuss important criteria to develop in-house 3D printing.

Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing, Organizational processes, Biomedical design

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