The advent of a novel manufacturing technology in pharmaceutics: superiority of fused deposition modeling 3D printer

Yechan Joo, Intaek Shin, Gunjoo Ham, Sharif Md Abuzar, Sang Min Hyun, Sung Joo Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a process for creating 3D objects with various geometries using digital modeling, and it is widely used in the construction and medical industries. In the field of pharmacy, 3D printers were introduced as a suitable manufacturing method in response to the increasing need for “personalization.” Since the first 3D printed drug, Spritam®, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015, 3D printer technology has evolved through considerable research. The 3D printing methods are classified into selective laser sintering, inkjet printing, stereolithography, digital light processing, and fused deposition modeling (FDM) according to the printing method. Among them, FDM, which is a method of extruding filaments through a nozzle, is the most widely used 3D printer method in pharmaceuticals. Area covered: This review paper covers the detail content of manufacturing drugs by FDM. Owing to its ease of use and relatively low price, many studies have focused on FDM 3D printers. In this review paper, we concretely investigate a series of FDM procedures and parameters and introduce many studies that used FDM 3D printers to control the release, to make novel dosage form, and to deliver the customized doses. Expert opinion: FDM is completely different from traditional drug manufacturing methods, and it is expected to achieve personalization. Once mechanical problems and regulatory barriers are overcome and new developments are made, FDM 3D printers will become a unique and effective way to manufacture patient-customized drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Korean Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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