The presence of 3D printing in orthopedics: A clinical and material review

Ricardo Rodriguez Colon, Vasudev Vivekanand Nayak, Paulo E.L. Parente, Philipp Leucht, Nick Tovar, Charles C. Lin, Kevin Rezzadeh, Jacques H. Hacquebord, Paulo G. Coelho, Lukasz Witek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The field of additive manufacturing, 3D printing (3DP), has experienced an exponential growth over the past four decades, in part due to increased accessibility. Developments including computer-aided design and manufacturing, incorporation of more versatile materials, and improved printing techniques/equipment have stimulated growth of 3DP technologies within various industries, but most specifically the medical field. Alternatives to metals including ceramics and polymers have been garnering popularity due to their resorbable properties and physiologic similarity to extracellular matrix. 3DP has the capacity to utilize an assortment of materials and printing techniques for a multitude of indications, each with their own associated benefits. Within the field of medicine, advances in medical imaging have facilitated the integration of 3DP. In particular, the field of orthopedics has been one of the earliest medical specialties to implement 3DP. Current indications include education for patients, providers, and trainees, in addition to surgical planning. Moreover, further possibilities within orthopedic surgery continue to be explored, including the development of patient-specific implants. This review aims to highlight the use of current 3DP technology and materials by the orthopedic community, and includes comments on current trends and future direction(s) within the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-613
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • 3D Printing
  • biomaterials
  • biomechanics
  • bone
  • reconstruction
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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