3D Printing – Drugs

3D printing is becoming an ever more prevalent tool for designers in all fields and is set to revolutionise the way we live and consume.

The latest innovation in 3D printing is in the world of medicine; UK based biotech company FabRx have been looking into the potential of printing prescribed drugs. Their aim is to make prescribed medication more accessible and personalised for the public. They could print their own prescription at home to their specific dose, also tailoring colour, shape and size, all of which can alter their effect. For example some shapes (such as a pyramid) will allow a pill to dissolve more quickly into a persons bloodstream whereas others (such as a cylinder) will give a more slow release.


At the recent Dubai Health Forum this January, the companies director Alvaro Goyanes said, “Eventually, we see prescriptions being sent to people’s homes so they can print their own medication. Patients will be able to print the right dose, or a combination of drugs, for themselves,”.

The drugs would be supplied as filaments for the printer and would reduce costs as well as the incidence of counterfeit drugs due to the fact that the filaments are not as simple to produce as ready made tablets.


My Opinions

I think it’s a really interesting idea to remove the pharmacy from the medication process and could clearly make for a much more effective delivery system for both practicality and the efficacy of the drug. I can’t help but wonder however whether this will ultimately open  up a new easy way to produce illegal drugs?

As 3D printing becomes a larger part of everyday life it’s increasingly evident that things are about to change massively and I just hope it’s for the better. My worry is that the instant culture we already live in is damaging enough, that said, the pros of innovation such as this are inarguably positive so I guess it falls to us as a society to decide how we use this new technology in a healthy and constructive way.



(2016) Pills Available at: http://crooksandliars.com/files/primary_image/16/02/alb_web_photo_news_miraclediets.jpg (Accessed/downloaded: 11/01/2017).

Sputnik (2017) Homemade 3D printed drugs becoming reality. Available at: https://sputniknews.com/science/201701111049484732-3d-printed-drugs/ (Accessed: 13/01/2017).

Todd M. (2015) German Crowdfunding campaign for 3D printed drug polymer. Available at: http://www.cellular3d.com/index.php/venture/181-german-crowdfunding-campaign-for-3d-printed-drug-polymer (Accessed: 13/01/2017).

(2017) 3D printed drugs. Available at: http://blog.drupa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/printed-pill3.jpg (Accessed: 13/01/2017).

Krassenstein B. (2015) Researchers 3D print odd shaped pills on a makerBot, completely changing drug release rates. Available at: https://3dprint.com/64223/3d-printed-drugs/ (Accessed: 13/01/2017).



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