Additive manufacturing processes in medical applications

Mika Salmi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

226 Citations (Scopus)
541 Downloads (Pure)


Additive manufacturing (AM, 3D printing) is used in many fields and different industries. In the medical and dental field, every patient is unique and, therefore, AM has significant potential in personalized and customized solutions. This review explores what additive manufacturing processes and materials are utilized in medical and dental applications, especially focusing on processes that are less commonly used. The processes are categorized in ISO/ASTM process classes: Powder bed fusion, material extrusion, VAT photopolymerization, material jetting, binder jetting, sheet lamination and directed energy deposition combined with classification of medical applications of AM. Based on the findings, it seems that directed energy deposition is utilized rarely only in implants and sheet lamination rarely for medical models or phantoms. Powder bed fusion, material extrusion and VAT photopolymerization are utilized in all categories. Material jetting is not used for implants and biomanufacturing, and binder jetting is not utilized for tools, instruments and parts for medical devices. The most common materials are thermoplastics, photopolymers and metals such as titanium alloys. If standard terminology of AM would be followed, this would allow a more systematic review of the utilization of different AM processes. Current development in binder jetting would allow more possibilities in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number191
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • 3D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Clinical
  • Dental
  • Implants
  • Medical
  • Methods
  • Processes
  • Rapid manufacturing
  • Rapid prototyping


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