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© Dale Crosby Close for Mosaic


© Dale Crosby Close for Mosaic

A lot of research goes into our stories. Here are some the resources we used to put together our story on using 3D printing to make easier-to-swallow pills.

In a world that’s evolving towards personalised medicine, 3D printing may be more efficient than traditional manufacturing. 3D printing holds promise for producing bespoke tablet sizes and dosages not only for children, but also for the elderly and even astronauts.

Challenge yourself to dive deeper into this topic with videos, news articles and (if you’re up to it) some academic papers that explore the upsides and downsides of 3D-printed drugs. Do you think we’ll all one day have personalised 3D-printed medicines?

3D printing could give you a better pill to swallow

Meet the scientists using 3D printers to deliver safer, more effective tablets for children.


This news report covers the US Food and Drug Administration’s first ever approval of a 3D-printed drug.

In this TED Talk, chemist Lee Cronin discusses his work creating a 3D printer that is able to print molecules – such as medicines – using chemical inks.

In the news

In this Science article, Robert Service talks about using 3D printing for drug manufacturing.

Ann Robinson talks about 3D-printed drugs and customised medication in this article for the Guardian.

This ITV report looks at the 2018 clinical trial at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital that examined the ‘swallowability’ of 3D-printed placebo tablets among youngsters.

Academic writing

This 2018 study from Dr Matthew Peak and colleagues shows how 3D-printed mini-tablets contain more accurate doses for paediatric patients than tablets quartered by hand.

A review providing a comprehensive account of various 3D-printing technologies, which highlights the opportunities and key challenges of 3D printing pharmaceuticals.

An insight into the technical challenges to using different 3D-printing technologies for pharmaceuticals, such as the formulation, processing and regulatory challenges that need to be overcome.

More from Mosaic

Ian Birrell explains how 3D printing can make prosthetics faster, cheaper and better. It could transform mobility for millions around the world.

Could open-source 3D printing revolutionise children’s prostheses? Fathima Simjee investigates how open-source prosthetic designs and 3D printing can change people’s lives.

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