3D printing in medicine: the year in review

Written by Georgi Makin

2020 in 3D printing in medicine

As 2020 comes to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to review some of 3DMedNet’s key highlights from this year, including top content, new features and adapting to industry-wide challenges in the wake of a global pandemic.

While times may have been tougher than normal, 3DMedNet has had a great year launching a website with a brand-new look, entering into new partnerships and covering even more applications of 3D printing in medicine. This year has enabled us to build new features and develop interactive content in response to our members’ needs, with e-learning opportunities now proudly featured with our partner conference platform, 3DMedLIVE.

As well as exciting new features and content opportunities, we have remained as committed as ever to bringing you the latest news and research from our partner publications. The Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine has gone from strength to strength, with three new issues now online and a promising pipeline of content for 2021!


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Top content and new features at a glance

First of all, we have had a great year for new content as we launched the interview series from 3DMedLIVE 2019. Featuring surgeons, engineers, academics and business professionals, the interview series considers a 360° perspective on 3D printing in surgery.

Top interviews:

We were also excited to bring 3DMedNet members two new features as we launched the brand-new website. The first, a ‘Spotlight’ on bioprinting, highlighted key bioprinting projects, from conventional biofabrication and regenerative medicine research to novel applications of ‘bedside’ bioprinting.

Top bioprinting content:

The second, an ‘In Focus’ feature on the applications of 3D printing in cardiology, consulted experts on the use of 3D printing in the field of cardiology. Featuring interviews and editorials from experts focused on bioprinting in cardiac tissue research to clinicians using 3D printing at the point of care, this feature proved a very popular and comprehensive collection of expert insights.

Top cardiology content:

Finally, and most recently, we were delighted to have hosted our very first panel discussion on our webinar platform, focused on 3D printing in surgery and the operating room of the future. I was delighted to be joined by Amy Alexander (Mayo Clinic, MN, USA), Dominic Eggbeer (PDR, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK) and Joyce Lim (Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, UK) as we discussed the use of 3D-printed models for preoperative preparation, 3D technologies such as VR and AR and the regulated reality of these modalities.

Top webinars:

If you would be interested in partnering with us for any features similar to the above in 2021, please contact us today: [email protected]

Adapting in time of coronavirus

Of course, a review of 2020 would not be complete without spending a little time reflecting on the impact of COVID-19. The reaction of the additive manufacturing community has been especially touching this year, with companies large and small responding to national and international calls to action for PPE and innovative solutions to meet increasing demand.

However, this reaction did not come without controversy, with concerns raised about quality control and the management of risk becoming louder voices within medical supplies spaces.

We have been especially privileged to be able to publish opinion pieces and news updates from the field, with an especially popular podcast hosted in collaboration with Women in 3D Printing. We will continue to update the COVID-19 In Focus page as more research and information becomes available, so please keep an eye on the page for the latest content and Journal Articles from the Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine.

Finally, aside from publishing COVID-19 content and keeping up with industry challenges, we have also responded to the hiatus of in-person events through comprehensive virtual conference coverage, as well as the launch of the 3DMedLIVE 2019 video series.

Accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England for up to 8 CPD points, you can now access the different bundles of talks from 3DMedLIVE 2019 via the 3DMedLIVE website. Discover how 3D printing has supported complex clinical case studies and learn how to navigate the business and strategic challenges in bringing 3D printing into the clinic, as we present a selection of talks from last year’s conference.

Looking ahead to 2021

Looking forward to 2021, we are delighted to have officially welcomed a brand-new Expert Panel, tasked with informing feature ideas and supporting the growth of the 3DMedNet. We would like to thank the Panel for their contributions so far and are incredibly excited to continue our expert-led features into 2021 and beyond.

One of the first of these features is the long-awaited Glossary for 3D printing in medicine, a collaborative project between 3DMedNet and the Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine. Watch this space for more information as we prepare the launch the first online edition in early 2021!

We are also excited to be preparing for 3DMedLIVE 2021, which will take place in London (UK) on 13–14 October 2021. To find out more and to register your interest (if you haven’t already) check out the website: www.3dmedlive.com

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce some exciting news as we welcome a new editorial team to the 3DMedNet/Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine partnership. Heather Jones will be starting 2021 as the Commissioning Editor for the journal, as Vivian Xie joins 3DMedNet as the Editor. Please join me in welcoming both new members to the team!

Sadly, this does mean that my time with 3DMedNet has come to an end as I move to pastures new. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone I have worked with within the 3D printing community – I have thoroughly enjoyed my 3-year tenure as the Editor of such a vibrant community website, and am excited to watch the site, journal, conference and community continue to grow in the not too socially-distant future!

Finally, the team at 3DMedNet, 3DMedLIVE and the Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine would like you wish you all the best over the festive season, the happiest of New Years and every success for 2021!