The company, which engineers, manufactures, and sells 3D printers, will help the VHA build out its in-house 3D printing capacity. “Point-of-care 3D printing is about investing in patient outcomes-building the means to create patient-matched solutions that don’t exist in the open market,” Beth Ripley, national director of the VHA Printing Network, tells Verywell in an email. “By investing in point of care 3D printing, VHA will ensure that Veterans are first in line to receive cutting edge 3D printing solutions.” Since its inception in 2017, Ripley and her team at the 3D Printing Network have been conceptualizing ways 3D printing can improve care. Because there are 3D printing manufacturers of all sizes across the country, they may be able to better address the needs of each community and respond to certain crises more effectively than other manufacturing models. Especially in times of crisis, the 3D printing community can be flexible enough to fill certain needs until more conventional manufacturers can catch up. “While we believe that 3D printing is not the best method for large-scale production once a design is tested and approved, it is the right tool for rapidly testing and iterating on a design,” Ripley says.
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