Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine Vol. 4 No. 3 | Perspective

COVID-19: additive manufacturing response in the UK


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, a novel coronavirus, caused global disruption specifically in linear supply chains. Increased demand for already disrupted services led to a global shortage of medical equipment and personal protective equipment. Use of additive manufacturing (AM) processes by the manufacturing community has shown great innovation, agility and flexibility to fill supply chain gaps and meet shortfalls. In the context of contingency reaction to a global healthcare emergency, decisions have had to be made quickly, in some cases bypassing device safety regulations. This concentrated and spontaneous use of AM has highlighted the challenges and risks of such innovation, which we discuss in relation to the UK’s current regulatory landscape. We have discussed lessons learned and the potential future impact upon wider use of AM in healthcare.

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