21 August 2016
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Charles Holland Awards for Brave Britons 2016

The Charles Holland Awards for Brave Britons celebrates the achievements of exceptional people from all walks of life, of all ages and from all over the United Kingdom. 

21 August 2016
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Possibility of 3D-Printed Hearing Aids Grows

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01 June 2016
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Possibility of 3D-Printed Hearing Aids Grows

3D printing of medical devices has become increasingly widespread across a number of applications, with hope that hearing aids will soon be produced in the same way.

According to the research organisation Gartner, there are inflated expectations regarding the printing of medical devices. However, patients across the world are already beginning to feel the benefits of the technology, with more developments to come.

Being able to craft an aid that fits perfectly to the contours of an individual patient's ear is essential for providing comfort when using hearing aids, and being able to 3D print such a device cheaply and quickly will be an enormous breakthrough. No longer dogged by uncomfortable, one-size-fits-all products, the innovation will supposedly be comfortably within the mainstream in five years or so.

Gartner's research director, Peter Basiliere, said: "All the major hearing aid manufacturers now offer devices that are personalised to the shape of the customer's ear. This is evidence that using 3DP for mass customisation of consumer goods is now viable, especially given that the transition from traditional manufacturing in this market took less than two years."

After that? Well, according to the company the next step will be the 3D printing of living tissues that can be used for transplants and grafts, potentially becoming viable within five to ten years.

 

01 June 2016
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