In a few short years, 3D-printed medical applications progressed to the point we’re no longer surprised to read about developing 3D technologies for use outside or inside the human body. We’ve written about 3D prosthetic arms, legs, hands, eyes, and numerous 3D wearable skin sensors. Soft muscles, custom pharmaceuticals, dental devices, and cartilage implants number among the less-expected but nonetheless exciting 3D printing applications.

It’s not surprising, then, given the vast range of applications, to read IDTechEx’s latest market intelligence report predicts 3D printed medical devices and pharmaceuticals will be a $6.1 billion market by 2029. The market intelligence firm reports that 3D printing’s disruptive effect on medical care drives the technology’s market growth. In 3D Printing in the Medical and Dental Industry 2019 – 2029, IDTechEx cites several different 3D printed devices that already are disrupting markets: hearing aids, transparent orthodontic aligners, and affordable prosthetics for growing children.

The potentials for lower costs, greater personalization, and the likely numerous applications still lingering in research and design labs may require a new label for 3D printing. Perhaps it rightly should be referred to as a super-enabling technology.