The Longevity

3D Printing Shows Promise for Future of Custom-Fit Hearing Aids

November 10, 2017 | Smart Aging

A recent report by Blackbird PR on the future of 3D printed hearing aids argues that the technology shows promise in reducing the production time associated with the production of custom-fit hearing aids while potentially lowering costs.

3D printing will ensure that the hearing aids will have fewer defects and an increased amount of precision. The manufacturing time will be significantly reduced and customers may even be able to print the devices themselves. Initially, this was a highly long process which took several technicians and artists around a week’s time. Now there are just three steps involved with the 3D printer – scan, model & print and the process can be completed in less than two days.

The report also found that global demand for hearing aids was expected to grow due to environmental and other causes between now and 2026.

The WHO estimates that more than 5% of the global population suffers from a hearing impediment & nearly 15% of the adult population is affected by some form of hearing loss. Increasing incidents of deafness on account of industrialisation, noise pollution, genetics, ear infections or even birth defects are all expected to boost the scope of the hearing devices 3D printing market globally.

The report found that 3D printing could potentially lower the cost of producing custom-fit hearing aids by increasing automation, although potential savings would initially be offset by the high cost of investing in 3D printer technology.

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