Innovations With 3-Dimensional Printing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: A Review of the Literature.

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Created more than 30 years ago, 3-dimensional printing (3DP) has recently seen a meteoric rise in interest within medicine, and the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is no exception. Also called additive manufacturing (AM), the recent increase in the use of 3DP is likely due to lower-cost printers as well as breakthroughs in techniques and processing. This thematic narrative review serves to introduce the rehabilitation professional to 3DP technology and how it is being applied to orthoses, prostheses, and assistive technology (AT). The basics of the technology, as well as the benefits and challenges of using it within the rehabilitation framework, are described. Proponents of the technology suggest that 3DP offers not only a better way to make devices, but a better way to make improved devices. However, the strength of this claim has not been properly tested by the current literature. This narrative review evaluates the evidence and provides a discussion of possible implications for the rehabilitation professional.





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Lunsford, Christopher, Garrett Grindle, Benjamin Salatin and Brad E Dicianno (2016). Innovations With 3-Dimensional Printing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: A Review of the Literature. PM & R : the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation, 8(12). pp. 1201–1212. 10.1016/j.pmrj.2016.07.003 Retrieved from

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Christopher Daniel Lunsford

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Pediatric Physiatrist (Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine)
Disability Advocate - Anti-Ableism in Healthcare

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