ing in order to treat patients.According to the latest de▓velopments, the medical community is not only manufacturing new limbs for amputees, but they can ▓assist children suffering from chronic illnes▓s, including congenital heart disease. The Shanghai▓ Children's Medical Center has become a crucial player in ▓this area.The largest children's hospital in Chi▓na has utilized 3D printing to assist with heart sur▓geries on young people.Life-saving surgerie▓sIn April 2017, Xinhua reports two young patients - Ma Changqiang, 16-years-old an▓d 8-months-old Yang Youhong, both from north west China's Qinghai Province, had undergo▓ne heart surgery by doctors at the Shanghai children's hospital who were using 3D printing technologies."Our ▓children have the world’s latest 3D pri▓ntin

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g technology. We are so lucky," said M▓a Wenming, grandfather of Ma Chenqiang. "Moreover the fees including transportation, accommodation, diagnosis and treatment were all free. We are really grateful."The Ma family had received support from a China-Belgium charity▓ project that provides free medical care for children, diagnosed with heart disease and come from the under-developed We▓stern China region.The Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and Belgium-based Materialise▓ NV, one of the world’s largest 3D printin▓g software and services providers, are cooperating on the philanthropic initiative.Global leader: pediatric heart careJi Qingying, deputy director of Shanghai Children's Medical Center, said the hospital conducts over 3,700 heart operations on children, ranking it number one among the world’s medical institutions.On average, families pay in the range - RMB80,000-100,000 (US$11,600-14,500) for a h▓eart operation. But 3D printing can reduce costs

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.Meanwhile, the China-Belgium charity proj▓ect is expected to offer 15 to 20 lifesaving heart sur▓geries per year, free of charge.Additionally, 3D printing is going mainstream and research▓ firm International Data Corp. forecasts China to become the Asia-Pacific leader in the field by 2018 and could surpass the United States and European Union soon."Applications for 3D printing will extend beyond just being prototype in manufacturing and healthcare e▓specially," IDC analyst Mun Chum Lim told Shanghai Daily.Better educated on performance"Consume▓rs are more educated and will seek benefits of incorporating 3D printing into different areas,"▓ added Mun.Chinese manufacturers are exploring new methods to cut back on labor-intensive manual processes on the factory floor. Companies are upgrading product▓ion plants by installing large 3D prin▓ters and adopting new technologies.The medical secto▓r has witnessed the strongest growth patterns in the Asia-Pacific region, while Beijing

is encouraging the "compatibility and accep▓tance of 3D printing," according to▓ Shanghai Daily.There's huge potential for ▓hospitals when it comes to 3D imagin▓g and printing, along with virtual realit▓y (VR). Plus Big Data can play a crucial role too.Doctors are working with companies, such a▓s Materialise, Hisense and Dassault System, to provide high-quality 3D printing services and databases.Liu Jinfen, director of Shanghai Children's Medical Centers, said the hospital performs around 100 heart surgeries annually while us▓ing 3D printing technologies.Printing out factoriesOf course, doctors need more manufacturers to make 3d printing devices and Chinese compan

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