Additive manufacturing (AM) processes have undergone significant progress in recent years, having been implemented in sectors as diverse as automotive, aerospace, electrical component manufacturing, etc. In the medical sector, different devices are printed, such as implants, surgical guides, scaffolds, tissue engineering, etc. Although nowadays some implants are made of plastics or ceramics, metals have been traditionally employed in their manufacture. However, metallic implants obtained by traditional methods such as machining have the drawbacks that they are manufactured in standard sizes, and that it is difficult to obtain porous structures that favor fixation of the prostheses by means of osseointegration. The present paper presents an overview of the use of AM technologies to manufacture metallic implants. First, the different technologies used for metals are presented, focusing on the main advantages and drawbacks of each one of them. Considered technologies are binder jetting (BJ), selective laser melting (SLM), electron beam melting (EBM), direct energy deposition (DED), and material extrusion by fused filament fabrication (FFF) with metal filled polymers. Then, different metals used in the medical sector are listed, and their properties are summarized, with the focus on Ti and CoCr alloys. They are divided into two groups, namely ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. Finally, the state-of-art about the manufacture of metallic implants with AM technologies is summarized. The present paper will help to explain the latest progress in the application of AM processes to the manufacture of implants.
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