From Forbes’ Freddie Dawson: Medical science is seeing a significant boost from 3D printing. New startups in the 3D manufacturing realm are creating better prosthetics and customisable medical devices that are worlds more advanced than what came before.
For example two startups – Bioniks and Voodoo Manufacturing – are creating unique prosthetics for patients. Bioniks, a bio-medical printing startup based in Pakistan, has now created a total of 25 bionic arms.
These are advanced prosthetics like those of the Bioniks ‘Robotic Arm’ prosthetic that includes motorised joints as well as custom fitting through 3D printing, says Bharathidasan Moorthi, a digital marketing manager representing the company.
“We are researching on other robotic arms to be printed and tailored to meet specific requirements,” Moorthi adds. “Every arm delivered by Bioniks is different because each of them must be measured on to cater to the nature of disability.”
Bioniks says it’s the first company of this kind in Pakistan and expects to be able to tap into the extensive disabled market catering first for those missing arms before extending into other prosthetics such as dental prosthetics, leg prosthetics and fingers prosthetics.
The company is currently reliant on outside sources of funding – such as crowd campaigns. This is because the cost of creating a 3D customised prosthetic is still about half again more than a traditional prosthetic. Bioniks is cutting its profits for the time being and working on ways to cut costs in order to eventually be self-sustaining, the company says.
Meanwhile Voodoo Manufacturing is doing something very similar. says Jonathan Schwartz, co-founder of Voodoo Manufacturing. He says it is the largest manufacturer of 3D printed hands in the world – having made more than 1250 of them to be sold across the world.
“It’s something that speaks to the value of 3D printing versus other methods,” he adds.