• Additive Bio-Manufacturing: 3D Printing for Medical Recovery and Human Enhancement

Out 2016 – Junho 2018

Parlamento Europeu – STOA


Additive manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing or rapid prototyping) refers to processes used to produce parts in an additive manner by means of computer-aided design (CAD). While additive manufacturing is a technology that can be used in many different application areas, this project focuses on future trends in additive manufacturing (AM) aimed at improving biological functionality (bio-AM) and on its opportunities, barriers and challenges. The big advantage of this technique is that small batches can be produced more economically than with any other manufacturing process. Virtually any structure can be customized, which is particularly important in the healthcare sector. Possible applications include biological implants such as organs and tissues, nutrients, drugs and their transport mechanisms, equipment such as surgical knives and drilling guides, tissues for research, development and training, and personalized prostheses, supports and exoskeletons. Besides exploring such applications, the project will also systematically analyze potential "human enhancement" uses of AM technology and developments in the emerging do-it-yourself (DIY) cultures ("bio/body-hacking"; cyborgism; open source 3D printing movement).