According to Andrea A. Tooley, MD, 3D printing for surgical applications is not the future of ophthalmology. It is the present.
While ophthalmology has been slower than other medical specialties to adopt the surgical applications of this technology, many applications are available.
3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing, in contrast to subtractive technology or the use of molds. The most common type of 3D printing is the liquid form, which uses thin layers of a liquid polymer that is cured rapidly by ultraviolet light to facilitate the addition of new overlying layers to create the desired shape. This is the primary use in medical applications and is referred to as stereolithography, Dr. Tooley explained.