3d Printer Essay

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B. “Prosumer” 3D Printers In The Medical and Dental Industry

Prosumer technology is marketed for the individuals that can afford a high spec personal printer. The prosumer market is differentiating itself from the regular home personal or office printer classes using high performance parts as well as an extensive range of materials giving the machine more application range.

There are two general feelings on prosumer tech entering the medical or dental industries. Some speculate that prosumer printers will be insufficient in throughput on a production scale (mass-customisation or batch production) and others feel that there is opportunity for any hospital to own and utilize a 3D printer for models, guides or for surgical purposes.
Behind these two scenarios are both insiders to the industry and prosumer advocates. The initial view being what this paper feels is the correct play. It is very speculative to conclude that prosumer printers ($3,000-$5,000 USD) will have any disruptive influence on the medical or dental industries over the next decade. It is unwise to think that these ranges of printers could extend the benefit of printing a part in a separate room in the doctor’s office while he conducts an examination or procedure or while the patient waits in the waiting room. Though,
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The in-house printers are much more expensive, costing from $8,000- $25,000USD per unit. As well, the in-house printers are designed for very specific purposes whereas the prosumer printer is designed for multiple applications but not to the specifications needed by the dental or medical industries any time in the near future. Following is an example of what a prosumer printer can accomplish on a custom production scale, Tarun Tampi wrote an article about students from Kansas State University and what they were doing with 3D

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