University of Florida Researchers Announce 3D Printing Process for Soft Silicone Implants

Researchers at the University of Florida announced a process they developed for using 3D printing and soft silicone to manufacture items that millions of patients use: ports for draining bodily fluids, implantable bands, balloons, soft catheters, slings and meshes. This advancement promises significantly quicker implantation of devices that are stronger, less expensive, more flexible and more comfortable than anything currently available. Currently, such devices are moulded, which could take days or weeks to create customized parts designed to fit an individual patient. The 3D printing method cuts that time to hours, potentially saving lives. What’s more, extremely small and complex devices, such as drainage tubes containing pressure-sensitive valves, simply cannot be moulded in one step. Source: Inside 3D Printing News