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Opportunities For Additive Manufacturing In Medical Devices – Prosthetics, Orthotics, And Audiology: An Opportunity Analysis And Ten-year Forecast


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Published on Nov 13, 2017 SKU SMP-AM-MD2017-1117 Categories , Tag

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As the medical 3D printing segment continues to evolve in ways which set it apart from the rest of the rapid prototyping and industrial additive manufacturing markets, interest in apply various technologies into the fabrication of medical devices has grown significantly. On the success of the orthopedic implants, surgical guide, and dental segments, now other medical practice areas have begun exploring digital manufacturing processes as a means to improve efficiency, and build a global supply chain to patients in need.

Prosthetic devices are the third major area of exploration for 3D printing technologies in medicine today, marked by two distinctly different medical treatment areas -audiology and the orthotics & prosthetics (O&P) markets. Such externally applied devices now being made with 3D printing technologies include hearing aids, upper and lower extremity prosthetics and componentry, and orthotic insoles and braces.

Where orthotic and prosthetic devices are just emerging as an area of interest and commercial opportunity with strong growth potential, the use of 3D printing in hearing aids has been long established. The outlook and market analysis in each area is therefore compared and contrasted, including an up-to-date outlook for continued growth opportunities for 3D printing in the hearing aid segment which has often incorrectly been written off as totally saturated.

This report seeks to define and clarify opportunities for 3D printing technologies in the production of these areas. This study seeks to provide:

  • Industry coverage and opportunity analysis in the three primary application areas for 3D printed medical devices – prosthetics, orthotics, and audiology devices
  • A comprehensive analysis of the value proposition for 3D printing technologies in these areas, combined with a penetration and economic impact analysis for the application of 3D printing into these well established global markets
  • Segmentation of the various applications in each segment by component type, material selection, and potentially relevant printing processes and technologies
  • Production volume forecasts for printed components and devices in each market segment from 2014 to 2027
  • Ten year market forecasts for opportunities related to 3D printing hardware, materials, software, and print services in the areas of O&P and audiology markets, including breakouts by print technology forecasts of revenue and unit sales, install bases, material shipments by class and polymer/alloy family, services revenues by segment, and more


AM/3DP technologies are bringing serious disruptive potential in O&P through their ability to completely bypass much of the traditional supply constraints for prosthetic devices which limit the ability of amputees to gain access to a prosthetic. Meanwhile, market dynamics in the hearing aid industry continue to shift, and through recent innovations in 3D printing technologies in photopolymerization and metal powder bed fusion segments, the scales may be tipped towards strong continued penetration of 3D printing in audiology.

This study identifies where the money will be made and lost as these trends play out.  It will be vital reading not only for executives in the 3D printing/additive manufacturing space, but also for marketing and product managers at companies in the medical materials, medical device and healthcare industries.