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Medical Additive Manufacturing

SME Medical Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing Workgroup

The SME Medical Additive Manufacturing (MAM)/3D Printing Workgroup collaborates to identify challenges, develop resources, and to facilitate changes to support anyone using the technologies for medical/biomedical applications. The workgroup members represent medical device manufacturers, clinicians, technology providers and more to provide a multiperspective approach to all projects and discussions.

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Medical AM/3DP Resources: By addressing challenges, identifying existing resources, or developing new resources, the workgroup makes information available through SME at

DICOM Standard: In 2015, the workgroup identified a need to have the DICOM (medical imaging data) file better integrate with the needs of 3D printing. A representative of MITA joined the workgroup and conducted a needs analysis. With the support of the SME group, a proposal was submitted to the DICOM Steering Committee to address the issue. Since December 2016, WG-17 3D Manufacturing has been working to update the DICOM standard to encapsulate STL and other file types. For more information on their work, visit

Medical Applications Scope: The group annually updates the scope document that covers most uses of AM/3DP in medicine. This helps understand similarities and unique challenges, providing a guide for activities and priorities. To access the scope document, click HERE.

Workforce Development: Recognizing the unique set of skills (combining medicine and engineering) needed, the workgroup has developed templates for technician and engineering roles for device manufacturers and point-of-care (clinical) manufacturers. These are intended to be used by employers as well as those developing training.

Quality & Standards:

Annual Review of Medical Application of AM/3DP: The work group is using a combination of surveys, personal interviews, literature review, and discussions to provide an annual review of developments and trends.

Conferences & Outreach: Each year, the workgroup develops workshops and conference sessions for the Medical Manufacturing Innovations program at RAPID + TCT.

Building Evidence for 3D Printing Applications in Medicine: Connect all key stakeholders (e.g., clinical, scientific, medical device) to share best practices and identify effective methodologies and reliable protocols to increase impact of all studies being conducted.