SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
DOUGLAS, T S. Additive manufacturing: From implants to organs. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.104, n.6, pp.408-409. ISSN 2078-5135.
Additive manufacturing (AM) constructs 3D objects layer by layer under computer control from 3D models. 3D printing is one example of this kind of technology. AM offers geometric flexibility in its products and therefore allows customisation to suit individual needs. Clinical success has been shown with models for surgical planning, implants, assistive devices and scaffold-based tissue engineering. The use of AM to print tissues and organs that mimic nature in structure and function remains an elusive goal, but has the potential to transform personalised medicine, drug development and scientific understanding of the mechanisms of disease.