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3D Screen Printing – An Innovative Technology For Manufacturing of Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms

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Keywords: 3D printing, Additive manufacturing, Controlled release, Paracetamol, 3D screen printing, Drug delivery system.


Three-dimensional (3D) screen printing was used to fabricate oral dosage forms of different geometry and size. The paste required as starting material for the 3D screen printing process was designed for delayed release and contained the model drug paracetamol (acetaminophen). A prototype screen printing unit was used to fabricate different tablets in a single production process. The resulting tablets were produced with three different sizes and designed geometries (disk, donut, cuboid, oval and grid). Investigation of size and mass of the individual tablets demonstrated high uniformity within the various groups of tablets. Further characterization of their physical properties, such as breaking force and friability, yielded results comparing favorably to conventionally produced tablets. Finally, drug release tests in artificial gastric media showed paracetamol release to depend on the surface-area-to-volume ratio. In conclusion, the study shows the potential of 3D screen printing to fabricate more complex oral dosage forms in the setting of mass production with high reproducibility.