The global rise of 3D printing during the COVID-19 pandemic

3D printing enables on-demand solutions for a wide spectrum of needs ranging from personal protection equipment to medical devices and isolation wards. This versatile technology is suited to address supply-demand imbalances caused by socio-economic trends and disruptions in supply chains.

The digital versatility and quick prototyping of 3D printing empowers a swift mobilization of the technology and hence a rapid response to emergencies. Even during severe
disruptions in supply chains, critical parts can be manufactured on-demand by any decentralized 3D-printing facility in the world by leveraging designs shared online. Moreover, the addictive nature of 3D printing enables product customization and complex designs. The broad spectrum of 3D-printing applications in the fight against COVID-19.

3D printing is also being used to provide training and visualization aids for healthcare workers to cope with the limited pool of trained personnel. Digitization will continue to transform 3D-printing machines into key parts of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 environments in the post-pandemic, cyber-physical age

By Nature Reviews

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