3D printing holds great possibilities for surgical procedures and in the fitting of prosthetics as the technology continues to advance.
Brian Withers, managing director of 3dcreationlab.co.uk, a technology company specialising in 3D printing, said models created from 3D printing allow surgeons to simulate the procedure before operating on their patient.
Further work is going on to develop biomaterials that are printed in 3D, however, the current challenge is printing these onto a medium that the body will not reject.
Mr Withers said work is currently being undertaken on printing onto crushed bone and said titanium is another metal with potential applications within the body as it is "non rejectable".
"You can print a titanium part and some of the latest 3D printers are actually driven by a laser and can create a honeycomb structure so that the titanium part will actually allow tissue to grow into it. With the tissue growing into it – it becomes part of the body and won't be rejected," he explained.
Researchers from Washington State University last year created a bone-like material using a 3D printer, which when used in conjunction with actual bone can prove a scaffold for skin to grow on, before dissolving.