Brian and I have talked many times on the show about 3D printing. It all began with the discussion that plastic items were being printed in 3D. Then came the conversation about things being printed in 3D using different materials, even metal. We had the conversation about some people advertising that they could 3D print guns. But a lot of the discussion has been in the medical field. Scientists are 3D printing body parts and they're actually being used today. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is getting in on it.
The FDA says 3D printing is becoming a focus of their practice of regulatory science. That's the science of developing new tools, standards, and approaches to assess the safety, effectiveness, quality and performance of FDA regulated products.
In fact two laboratories in the FDA's office of Science and Engineering Laboratories are investigating how the technology may affect the manufacturing of medical devices in the future. When it comes to medicine, we've reached the age where everything is fine tuned and certain treatments are customized for certain patients. The FDA says this will help them fine tune their evaluation of patient fitted products.
They're also better able to test the strength and durability of of products used in medical devices. The FDA says by getting into the 3D world, it'll help them to develop standards and set the parameters for scale, materials and other critical aspects that contribute to product safety and innovation.