3D LifePrints

: Medical Manufacturing
Primary partner: Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust


3D LifePrints provides medical 3D printing products and services for NHS hospitals & academic institutions. It partners with clinicians, healthcare providers and academics to identify new applications for 3D technologies and uses innovative 3D printed products to reduce operational costs and enhance patient care.

Founded in 2013 to supply low or zero cost limb prosthetics in East Africa, the company has has 3D printing and manufacturing facility based at the Innovation Hub at Liverpool’s Alder Hey hospital, with additional sites in London and Nairobi, Kenya. Since launching, it has secured seed funding, a Transformation Through Innovation grant from the Innovation Agency and an additional grant from Manchester University and MIMIT. It has also won the Merseyside Innovation Healthcare Award and the Innovation Agency’s (then the NWC AHSN) Stand out Contribution of a Business Partner to the NHS award.

Approaching the programme

3D LifePrints was one of the first companies to work with the Health Innovation Exchange (HIE) through its work providing 3D printing medical services at Alder Hey at the invite of the hospital itself and Panasonic. It was struggling to gain experience working with the NHS, getting access to clinicians for medical guidance and securing take-up of its 3D printing services.

Partner support

The HIE provided a variety of support for 3D LifePrints. It introduced the company to a number of clinicians who could provide information, guidance and medical advice, assisting it to find premises and facilities and helping to promote the advantages of using its technology.

Our results

As a result of its work with the HIE, 3D LifePrints was able to increase its visibility in the market and build its reputation, helping it to win more grants and generate more revenue. It was also able to expand into more hospitals, both within the Liverpool City Region and nationally.

“Being part of a med-tech community that provides support to SMEs has been crucial to our growth as an organisation,” explains 3D LifePrints founder and chief technology officer Paul Fotheringham. “The ‘Incubator’ type environment promotes idea generation and cross-collaboration.”

The video below, filmed at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (Liverpool, UK), hear from Henry Pinchbeck, CEO, 3DLifePrints.