3D printing technologies have been in the market for the last decade, however, it was only in last few years that the technology has become ubiquitous with the growth of several low-cost 3D prints manufactures. The future of 3D printing in developing countries is very promising, with the application of 3D printed objects to every facet of their life. But, one of the significant application will be in medicine.
3D printing technologies can be used to empower the healthcare delivery of local communities by bypassing the current supply chain of manufacturing. However, the hurdle of availability of experts and the cost of the materials and the quality of the finished medical device will be a significant challenge.
Some of the challenges in developing countries while using 3D printing technologies are the availability of experts who can not only design but also the model and manufacture of different medical products. Copyright in 3D printing is still a grey area, as traditional players in manufacturing and engineering industry have been after the websites that use 3D models online. However, as the technologies become more advanced, it may be difficult to determine the extent of this challenge.
Limitation in the ability to mix a variety of materials is still challenging and is also expensive in the current state of technologies available in 3D printing. Meanwhile, the large commercial 3D printers that support mixed materials are very expensive for the majority of users from developing countries.