• 1 Department of Production and Operation Management, Faculty of Technology Management and Business, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Parit Raja, 86400, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
  • 2 School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
  • 3 Faculty of Engineering Technology, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Educational Hub Malaysia Pagoh, 84600 Panchor, Johor, Malaysia
Heliyon, 2020 Apr;6(4):e03734.
PMID: 32322726 DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03734


Additive manufacturing has attracted increasing attention worldwide, especially in the healthcare, biomedical, aerospace, and construction industries. In Malaysia, insufficient acceptance of this technology by local industries has resulted in a call for government and local practitioners to promulgate the development of this technology for various industries, particularly for biomedical products. The current study intends to frame the challenges endured by biomedical industries who use 3D printing technology for their manufacturing processes. Qualitative methods, particularly in-depth interviews, were used to identify the challenges faced by manufacturing firms when producing 3D printed biomedical products. This work was able to identify twelve key challenges when deploying additive manufacturing in biomedical products and these include issues related to binder selection, poor mechanical properties, low-dimensional accuracy, high levels of powder agglomeration, nozzle size, distribution size, limited choice of materials, texture and colour, lifespan of materials, customization of fit and design, layer height, and, lastly, build-failure. Furthermore, there also are six challenges in the management of manufacturing biomedical products using 3D printing technology, and these include staff re-education, product pricing, limited guidelines, cyber-security issues, marketing, and patents and copyright. This study discusses the reality faced by 3D printing players when producing biomedical products in Malaysia, and presents a primary reference for practitioners in other developing countries.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.