Archives for the category: 3D printed prosthetics

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September 11, 2015

Cancer patient receives 3D-printed sternum and ribs

In the first surgical operation of its kind, a cancer patient has been fitted with a 3D-printed titanium sternum and ribs. [via C/Net]

quotemarksright.jpgFor the first time, a patient has received a custom, 3D-printed titanium implant to replace part of his rib cage.

The rib cage also is complex, and difficult to replicate. Usually in cases like these, a flat titanium plate is used to reinforce the structure of the rib cage. These aren't an excellent option: they can come loose, and increase the risk of complications.

But 3D printing is now at a point where it's a viable option for quickly creating custom implants designed specifically for individual patients.

The patient's surgical team at Salamanca University Hospital in Salamanca, Spain, commissioned Melbourne, Australia-based medical device company Anatomics to create a customisable titanium implant that could replicate the complicated structure of the sternum and rib cage.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:56 AM | permalink

August 25, 2015

Low-cost 3D printed robot hand wins Dyson prize

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A prototype 3D-printed robotic hand that can be made faster and more cheaply than current alternatives is this year's UK winner of the James Dyson Award. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe Bristol-raised creator of the Open Bionics project says he can 3D-scan an amputee and build them a custom-fitted socket and hand in less than two days.

It typically takes weeks or months to obtain existing products.

Joel Gibbard says he aims to start selling the prosthetics next year.

The 25-year-old inventor intends to charge customers £2,000 for the device, including the cost of a fitting.

Although prosthetic arms fitted with hooks typically can be bought for similar prices, ones with controllable fingers are usually sold for between £20,000 and £60,000.

That cost can sometimes be prohibitive for children, who usually need to change their prosthetic once or twice a year to take account of their growth.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 2:07 PM | permalink

May 17, 2015

Wounded turtle can return to the ocean thanks to a 3D-printed beak

cyborg-turtle01.jpg3D printing has had its fair share of heart-warming stories, but among the most touching applications of the technology has to be in the field of animal rescue. The latest such story comes from Turkey where 3D printing service provider BTech Innovation helped in the repair of a sea turtle’s upper and lower jaws. [ via engadget]

quotemarksright.jpgAfter the sea turtle was wounded by a boat propeller, a team found it floating in the sea, nearly lifeless, before bringing it to the Dalyan Iztuzu Pamukkale University (PAU), Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. There, the team attended to its wounds and subsequently nursed it back to health, feeding it by hand.

It was then that the PAU volunteers reached out to BTech to explore the possibility of 3D printing a custom beak for the poor creature.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:57 AM | permalink

March 30, 2015

Injured tortoise given 3D printed shell

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 14.28.57.png A tortoise has been given a 3D printed prosthetic shell to protect her own, as she suffers from a painful disease which has caused it to wear away. The Telegraph reports.

quotemarksright.jpgRoger Henry, a Colorado Technical University student, designed the tortoise a prosthetic shell, and 3D printed it with assistance from The 3D Printing Store in Denver.

"I heard this tortoise was damaged, needed some help and it seemed like the right thing to do," Mr Henry told the Denver Post. "We basically told the software that this is a piece of cloth. Therefore, drape it onto the tortoise."

The lightweight prosthetic shell attaches using velcro, and will only need to be worn when Cleopatra is around other tortoises. Her shell is expected to regrow within a couple of years thanks to the optimum temperature and a diet including dandelions and cactus.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 2:26 PM | permalink

March 28, 2015

Dentists will soon be able to 3D print you a new tooth in minutes

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With the announcement of a breakthrough technology that accelerates 3D printing speeds by a factor of up to 100, you may soon encounter a 3D printer in the most banal of everyday places: your dentist?s office. Quartz reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThis means that dentists can now print a tooth in 6.5 minutes,? explained Joseph DeSimone, the CEO of the 3D printing company Carbon3D and a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at the TED Conference in Vancouver last week.

The 3D printing innovation is cutting edge, but the ability to reproduce a tooth while you wait in the dental chair is actually not new. ?It?s been around for about 30 years,? explains Dr. Sharde Harvey, a New York City-based dentist who been using the method called CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) since 2005.

Developed in the University of Zurich, CERAC is more akin to computer-assisted sculpture than printing. While 3D printing creates an object one micro layer at a time, CEREC carves out or ?mills? a new tooth from a piece of porcelain aided by scanners and 3D modeling software.

Both methods allow dental practitioners to replace teeth, crowns, veneers, and inlays in a single sitting. The advantage of 3D printing over milling is that the process is better able to custom manufacture an object with intricate details?think about a tooth?s irregular grooves, crannies, and valleys. The problem with 3D printing was that it used to take a very long time.

Now the race is on to come up with faster, feasible 3D printing techniques. Barely a week after Carbon3D?s unveiling, the Australian company Gizmo 3D announced that they?re working on a ?super fast SLA [stereolithography] style 3D printer? that challenges Carbon3D?s print speeds.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:29 PM | permalink

March 5, 2015

3D Printing Offers Insights Into Cancer Development

Understanding of the complexities of tumors and even radiotherapy delivery could soon be revolutionized through the use of 3D printing, claim researchers who are pioneering a number of groundbreaking technologies. Medscape reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA number of research teams around the world exploring the use of 3D printing in a number of different areas pertaining to cancer and its treatment.

One use for 3D printing developed at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust, in London, is to produce models of tumors to help calculate the dosage of radiation delivered to a tumor.

The models accurately replicate the shape of a patient's tumor and the surrounding organs to help clinicians achieve the right balance between killing the cancer cells and preserving the healthy tissue.

The aim is to improve molecular radiotherapy by filling the tumor replicas with the same radioactive liquids administered to patients and estimating the likely effects of the treatment.

Originally, the models were handmade, but 3D printing technology offers the potential to substantially improve dosing accuracy in, for example, thyroid cancer, adult neuroendocrine tumors, childhood neuroblastoma, and prostate cancer bone metastases.

"We've seen reports on how 3D printing is being used for prosthetics and to inform surgery, and this research shows it has the potential to improve cancer treatment too ― by helping us to perform complex radiotherapy calculations more accurately," commented Glenn Flux, PhD, head of radioisotope physics at the Joint Department of Physics, the Institute of Cancer Research, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London in a release.

"We're really excited about this technology and the potential it has for personalizing cancer treatment with highly targeted radiation," he said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Registration required.

emily | 10:31 AM | permalink

February 13, 2015

Mutilated Costa Rican toucan 'to get prosthetic beak'

_80932357_80932156.jpgA toucan in Costa Rica which lost the upper part of its beak after being attacked by youths looks set to be fitted with a prosthetic replacement. [via the BBC]

quotemarksright.jpgFour Costa Rican companies that have volunteered their help say they possess the skills to create a prosthesis for the injured bird.

They say they will use 3D printing to create the first prosthesis of this kind in the region.

In the US, prosthetic beaks have been created for an eagle and a penguin.

The male toucan, named Grecia after the area where it was found, was taken to an animal rescue centre in January.

Pictures of its mutilated beak caused outrage after they were circulated in Costa Rican newspapers and on social media.

A campaign to provide the bird with a prosthetic beak quickly raised thousands of dollars and a number of local companies offered their help.

Four of them, Elementos 3d, Ewa!corps, Publicidad Web and Grupo Sommerus, said on Tuesday that they were confident they could design a suitable prosthetic for Grecia and fit it.

Toucans use their beaks to eat and also to regulate their body temperature.

Veterinarian Carmen Soto, who looks after Grecia at the Zoo Ave rescue centre, said the toucan was recovering well and had even started eating on its own.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.


- Buttercup The Duck Gets Brand New 3D Printed Swim Foot

-- Injured bald eagle Beauty gets 3D printed bionic beak

emily | 8:37 AM | permalink

February 4, 2015

17-year-old learns to play the guitar with a custom-made 3D printed prosthetic


Perhaps the best thing about these 3D printing prosthetics is the possible level of customization. Most simply attach to the wrist and feature a mechanical grip (Simply flick your wrist up or downwards, and the fingers move inwards or outwards), but they can be customized to fit any portion of the arm as well and even preform a series of other actions. But the owner of the most impressive 3D printed prosthetic is undoubtedly the 17-year-old Diego Corredor, from Colombia. Why? Because he can play guitar with it.


emily | 8:55 AM | permalink

January 31, 2015

e-NABLE: A network of passionate volunteers using 3D printing to give the World a 'Helping Hand'

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 15.26.57.png e-NABLE was inspired by two people — a prop maker from the USA and a carpenter from South Africa — that came together from 10,000 miles apart to create a prosthetic hand device for a small child in South Africa and then gave the blueprints away – for free, so that those in need of the device could make them for themselves or have someone make it for them.

What originally started out as a couple of guys who created something to help one child in need as grown into a World wide movement of tinkerers, engineers, 3D print enthusiasts, occupational therapists, university professors, designers, parents, families, artists, students, teachers and people who just want to make a difference.

There are people around the Globe – 3d printing fingers and hands for children they will never meet, classes of high school students who are making hands for people in their local communities, a group of people that are risking their lives to get these devices onto people in 3rd World countries and new stories every day of parents working with their children to make a hand together.

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It turns out that one my relatives in Maine (he would rather not be named) is part of this grassroots movement and a member of the e-NABLE network. I asked him how it works for him:

quotemarksright.jpgI have printed several hands now, but have not had machines reliable enough to accept a match with a person. I am working on improving the design of the "Raptor Reloaded" model and experimenting with a number of different materials. NinjaFlex looks very promising in a variety of ways and I am finding a Taulman filament that is a blend of polymer and nylon (PCTPE) is also quite strong yet has a flexibility component that may well prove useful.

A person (most often a child but by no means exclusively) needs an upper limb of a particular size and shape. Whether through birth issues or accident, e-NABLE tries to fit them with a hand that can grasp an object by a simple up and down movement from the wrist, elbow or even shoulder as may be needed.

Some people are also working on myoelectric devices as well which is quite exciting. Anyway, when a need is found, that person gets matched with a maker such as me, who then builds them a device according to their particular size and need.

This is best done in person, but many hands have been made in one place, and sent to another with fine success. To that end, e-NABLE organizes all the intermediary needs including record-keeping, matching, codes of conduct and standards of build integrity, not to mention the designs.

Wilhe-5.jpgSoftware called the "Hand-o-matic" helps to scale, size and determine the best individual design as best it can. The maker uses photos and measurements if the actual person is not nearby.

One of the best parts comes in here, too. All participants pay nothing. As a maker, I supply the limb at my own cost and all aspects of this system are donated. Nobody pays, nobody charges. It is really a wonderful outgrowth of technology allowing people to benefit in ways that were previously unknown. I encourage you to check out the e-NABLE websites and forums to see how it all plays out. Jon Schull at the Rhode Island Institute of Technology is one of the movers and shakers so a Google search there will undoubtedly yield a wealth of other info as well.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related: - Project Daniel - One of my favorite projects. Mike Ebeling from a group called Not Impossible flew to war-torn Sudan to 3D print arms for children and set up a 3D printing lab so his work could continue when he left.

emily | 3:18 PM | permalink

January 28, 2015

Doctors Create A 3D Printed Trachea on a MakerBot

3d-printed-trachea.jpg Doctors at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York, say 3D printing can be used to create a biodegradable tracheal segment containing a patient’s own cells to aid them in complex reconstruction surgery. [via]

quotemarksright.jpgMaking a windpipe or trachea is uncharted territory,” Todd Goldstein of the Feinstein Institute says. “It has to be rigid enough to withstand coughs, sneezes and other shifts in pressure, yet flexible enough to allow the neck to move freely.

With 3D printing, we were able to construct 3D printed scaffolding that the surgeons could immediately examine and then we could work together in real time to modify the designs.

MakerBot was extremely helpful and consulted on optimizing our design files so they would print better and provided advice on how to modify the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer to print with PLA and the biomaterial.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:47 AM | permalink

December 22, 2014

3D Printing Enhances the Effectiveness of Radiotherapy

Researchers have used 3D printing to produce replica models of tumours and organs of patients with cancer, to help calculate precisely how much radiation has been delivered to the cancer. [via]

quotemarksright.jpgPreliminary studies show the models can accurately replicate the shape of a patient’s tumour and the surrounding organs – and could mimic the exact position of the tumour within the patient’s body.

Initial tests at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust found the models allowed the dose of radiation a patient has received to be calculated more accurately – allowing subsequent doses to be adjusted accordingly.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:31 AM | permalink

November 1, 2014

3D Printed Insoles that Podiatrists Can Customize and Print

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 08.06.27.png3D Print has written numerous stories on a man named Steve Wood in the past. His most notable creation was probably the Flexy-Hand 2, which is a prosthetic hand made of flexible Filaflex filament. Now, Steve Wood, and his companyGyrobot, have teamed with Recreus, the makers of Filaflex, to create 3D printed customizable insoles. 3DPrint reports.

3D printed insoles are not new, but these are the first that virtually anyone could create and 3D print at home or in a doctor’s office.

quotemarksright.jpgWhat 3D printing has brought is the ability to become increasingly de-centralised and take some of that manufacturing in house close to the source (or destination),” Wood explained. “Podiatrists now armed with their own low cost 3D printer will be able to manufacture their own custom models themselves, supplied with Filaflex of course.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:00 AM | permalink

October 20, 2014

Iron Man-Inspired Prosthetic Hand Now Available

445423-iron-man-prosthetic-hand-credit-pat-starace-r-d.jpgProsthetic hands inspired by the armored gauntlet of Marvel's Iron Man and designed to be fashioned by 3D printers are now available to children, in lieu of more expensive alternatives which can cost tens of thousands of dollars—and don't look nearly as cool. PCMag reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA tinkerer named Pat Starace has released his designs for his "Iron Man Child Prosthetic Hand."

... "The hand is a container for all modern technology," the inventor told "It can incorporate microcontrollers, wireless devices, smart watches, sensors, accelerometers, NFC, RFID, and almost any technology. reported this week.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 11:11 AM | permalink

September 4, 2014

Doctor turns to 3D printers in a race to save a toddler's mind

Five-month-old Gabriel suffered from terrible seizures known as "mind erasers." But doctors used a 3D printed brain to pioneer a medical breakthrough and give him a normal life. [via The Verge]

quotemarksright.jpgDoctors eventually suggested a hemispherectomy, a complicated operation that disconnects the healthy half of the brain from the one causing seizures. A hemispherectomy is "one of the most challenging operations in pediatric epilepsy surgery," says Dr. Joseph Madsen, director of the epilepsy program at Boston Children’s. A dress rehearsal is beneficial even for the most highly experienced surgeons. "This is a printed version that the surgeon can hold, cut, manipulate, and look for things," he says, holding Gabriel’s printed brain in his hand. For surgeons-in-training, the simulation is a blessing. "No one wants to be the first person to get a hemispherectomy from a surgeon, ever," he adds.

The 3D print of Gabriel’s brain was developed by the Simulator Program at the hospital. The model is printed in soft plastic with a precision of 16 microns per layer; blood vessels are set in contrast color for easier navigation. Gabriel’s parents were privy to the process and anticipated complications. Gabriel’s subsequent surgery earlier this year took close to 10 hours, and went according to plan.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:46 AM | permalink

September 2, 2014

Xi'an hospital rebuilds man's skull with 3D printing technology

20140831160838aeed4-115647_copy1.jpg A hospital in Xi'an has used 3D printing technology to reconstruct a man's skull, the local Xi'an Evening Paper on Aug. 28.

The man, surnamed Hu, is a farmer who fell last year from the three-story house he was building onto a pile of logs. He was sent to hospital in a coma and doctors removed a crushed part of the left side of his skull.

Image above - Mr Hu prior to surgery with the indentation in the skull from his injury.

[via WantChinaTimes]

emily | 8:23 AM | permalink

September 1, 2014

3D-printed human hearts to help trainee surgeons

A researcher at Nottingham Trent University is using 3D-printing to create prosthetic human hearts with lifelike detail, to help train surgeons before they go into live theatre. [via The Telegraph]

quotemarksright.jpgThe prosthetic hearts feature lifelike internal detail and have the varying tactile qualities of real human hearts, according to Richard Arm, an MSc Smart Design postgraduate researcher at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

Using silicone gels, the different areas of hardness of the human heart – such as around the heart’s arteries and valves – are recreated using specific blends of the material.

The study has been undertaken with the support of the Ministry of Defence’s Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. As well as enhancing the education of trainee surgeons, it is thought the models could help teach medical students advanced anatomy and improve surgeons’ clinical skills.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:58 PM | permalink

August 20, 2014

FDA Approves First 3D Printed Facial Implants


In February, Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) became the first company to receive FDA clearance for the manufacturing of patient-specific 3D printed polymeric implants for a line of cranial prosthesis. [via]

quotemarksright.jpgOPM announced yesterday they have received the FDA’s 510(k) clearance for its latest implant, the 3D printed OsteoFab® Patient-Specific Facial Device (OPSFD). This makes it the holder of the only FDA cleared 3D printed polymeric implant for facial indications.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 3:55 PM | permalink

August 18, 2014

First spine surgery with 3D-printed disc — Will this change everything?

Surgeons in China performed the first spinal disc replacement implanting a three-dimensional printed vertebra, according to a CNTV report via Becker's Spine Review.

quotemarksright.jpg... This first spinal procedure using a 3D-printed vertebra replaced the second vertebra in a 12-year-old boy's neck. The boy had cancer, which was discovered after a traumatic soccer injury. After the procedure, the patient's head was framed with pins and will remain that way for three months. The surgeon who performed the procedure — Dr. Liu Zhongjun — said the customized 3D printing technology made the disc replacement stronger and more convenient than other procedures.

The surgeons are currently calling the spine surgery a success.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 7:24 PM | permalink

July 16, 2014

3D-printed cadavers revolutionise anatomical education

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 9.02.59 AM.png The 3D Printed Anatomy Series allows medical students to learn human anatomy without needing access to a real cadaver. [via C/net]

quotemarksright.jpgThe 3D Printed Anatomy Series, created by researchers at Australia's Monash University,is a kit that consists of all the major body parts required to learn the anatomy.

"For centuries cadavers bequested to medical schools have been used to teach students about human anatomy, a practice that continues today. However, many medical schools report either a shortage of cadavers, or find their handling and storage too expensive as a result of strict regulations governing where cadavers can be dissected," explained Professor Paul McMenamin, Director of the University's Centre for Human Anatomy Education.

"Without the ability to look inside the body and see the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels, it's incredibly hard for students to understand human anatomy. We believe our version, which looks just like the real thing, will make a huge difference."

The 3D Printed Anatomy Series is created from real humans. First, the team performed scans, either X-ray CT scans or surface scans. These scans are then used to create a printable 3D model of the body parts, which are then sent to a high-resolution 3D printer and printed either in full colour in a plaster-like powder or plastic.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:57 AM | permalink

July 4, 2014

BMW 3D prints thumbs for factory workers to reduce strain on their hands


German car manufacturer BMW has turned to 3D printing to physically augment its car-plant workers, giving them stronger, augmented thumbs.[via The Guardian]

quotemarksright.jpgThe 3D-printed apparel acts like support brackets for the workers’ thumbs, reducing strain and helping them to fit certain parts into the cars more easily.

Each "thumb" is created as a custom orthotic device using a portable 3D camera, which captures the unique size and shape of each line-worker’s thumb.

... This is not the first ergonomic aid BMW has created used 3D printing. The German automotive company created customised wheelchair seats for the British paralympic basketball team in 2012 using similar methods.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:20 AM | permalink

June 25, 2014

3D printing technology used in surgery

A Chinese hospital has become the country's first to experiment with 3D printing technology in vascular surgery.[via Xinhuanet]

quotemarksright.jpgHuang Jianhua, director of surgery in Hunan Xiangya Hospital in central China's Hunan Province, said on Wednesday that 3D printing had been used in an operation to remove an aneurysm from a patient's abdomen. It was used to increase precision of the surgery.

He said the operation, which was completed earlier this month, involved a high level of risk because the tumor had swollen the patient's aorta from 2 cm in diameter to 6 cm.

The hospital contracted a 3D printing firm to make a 3D print of the CT scan of the patient's tumor and its surrounding blood vessels.

Surgeons used the printed model to set up intravascular tubes and remove the tumor.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 1:37 PM | permalink

3D printing technology used in surgery

A Chinese hospital has become the country's first to experiment with 3D printing technology in vascular surgery.[via Xinhuanet]

quotemarksright.jpgHuang Jianhua, director of surgery in Hunan Xiangya Hospital in central China's Hunan Province, said on Wednesday that 3D printing had been used in an operation to remove an aneurysm from a patient's abdomen. It was used to increase precision of the surgery.

He said the operation, which was completed earlier this month, involved a high level of risk because the tumor had swollen the patient's aorta from 2 cm in diameter to 6 cm.

The hospital contracted a 3D printing firm to make a 3D print of the CT scan of the patient's tumor and its surrounding blood vessels.

Surgeons used the printed model to set up intravascular tubes and remove the tumor.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 1:37 PM | permalink

June 11, 2014

3D printing makes scoliosis braces more sleek, comfortable

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Scoliosis braces can be clunky, painful contraptions that often look like medieval torture devices. But, Design pioneer 3D Systems is trying to change that with the "Bespoke" brace, which aims to change the way back braces fit, function, and feel. .CNET reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 3D-printed brace can be personalized to the backs of children and young adults who have the condition.

The main goal of this is to combine fashion, design, and technology to create a brace far more appealing to patients, and, as a result, far more effective medically," 3D Systems Bespoke designer Scott Summit told CNET.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:36 PM | permalink

May 21, 2014

Robohand unveils 3D-printed robotic leg

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The creator of a low-cost, 3D-printed robotic hand has taken the next logical step, unveiling its prototype for a low-cost, 3D-printed robotic leg. c/Net reports.

quotemarksright.jpgRobohand has created a robotic 3D-printed hand, a robotic 3D-printed finger (the Robofinger) and a robotic 3D-printed arm (the Roboarm), providing them at low cost to over 200 people around the world.

Now, they've taken another step forward -- quite literally -- with the Roboleg, unveiled on the Robohand Facebook page.

Because it bears weight, the leg needs to be a lot sturdier than the arms and hands. As such, it's made from a combination of metal and 3D printed parts, and, rather than the systems of cables and bungees that operate the arms and hands, the leg uses pneumatic pumps.

The Robohand team will be releasing more information soon. Like the Robohand, the 3D files and assembly instructions will be free to download from Thingiverse when testing on the Roboleg is complete.quotesmarksleft.jpg

For more information on Robohand, visit the Robohand website.

emily | 9:14 AM | permalink

May 7, 2014

3D printed first to treat sleep apnoea

id35463.jpg Using a 3D scanner to map a patient’s mouth, CSIRO researchers and Australian dental company, Oventus, can now print a mouthpiece which prevents dangerous pauses in breath during sleep.

Printed from titanium and coated with a medical grade plastic, the breakthrough mouthpiece is customised for each patient. [via nanowerk]

quotemarksright.jpgThe device has a ‘duckbill’ which extends from the mouth like a whistle and divides into two separate airways. It allows air to flow through to the back of the throat, avoiding obstructions from the nose, the back of the mouth and tongue.

Sleep apnoea occurs when the air passage in the throat becomes blocked during sleep and causes people to stoping breathing. In severe cases, people can suffer hundreds of events per night.

Oventus CEO, Neil Anderson, said the key to the new 3D treatment was in the design. “This new device is tailored to an individual’s mouth using a 3D scan and is used only on the top teeth which make it more compact and far more comfortable.

“The new 3D printed mouthpiece bypasses all obstructions by having airways that deliver air to the back of the throat and it will also stop patients from snoring,” Mr Anderson said.

The device is expected to be available to patients next year.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 7:49 AM | permalink

April 28, 2014

3D Printed Cast Speeds Bone Recovery Using Ultrasound


A new cast prototype by Designer Deniz Karasahin brings together 3D printing, room to breathe and low ultrasound pulses, to create a cast that is not only comfortable and stylish to wear, but is expected to speed bone regrowth.

Read full article in iflScience.

emily | 10:34 PM | permalink

April 15, 2014

Carpenter who cut off his fingers makes 'Robohand' with 3-D printer

130520170955-3d-interactive-robohand-horizontal-gallery.jpg Richard van As lost his fingers in a carpentry accident and finds help online. CNN reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAfter days of scouring the Internet he couldn't find anywhere to buy a functional prosthetic finger and he was astonished at the cost of prosthetic hands and limbs which began in the tens of thousands of dollars. But his online surfing paid off as it brought him to an amateur video posted by a mechanical effects artist in Washington State, by the name of Ivan Owen.

Together, the pair developed a mechanical finger for van As, but their partnership has also gone on to benefit countless hand and arm amputees around the globe, through the birth of the company "Robohand." Officially launched in January 2012, Robohand creates affordable mechanical prosthetics through the use of 3D printers. Not only that, but it has made its designs open source, so that anyone with access to such printers can print out fingers, hands and now arms as well. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. The first Robohand ever created was made for five-year-old Liam, from South Africa (picture above)

emily | 9:06 AM | permalink

March 26, 2014

Neurosurgeons successfully implant 3D printed skull

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.35.07 PM.png A 22-year-old woman from the Netherlands who suffers from a chronic bone disorder -- which has increased the thickness of her skull from 1.5cm to 5cm, causing reduced eyesight and severe headaches -- has had the top section of her skull removed and replaced with a 3D printed implant. Wired reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe operation was performed by a team of neurosurgeons at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and the university claims this is this first instance of a successful 3D printed cranium that has not been rejected by the patient.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 11:33 PM | permalink

‘Printing’ your facial feature... for as little as £150

3682306847.jpg An inventor from Yorkshire could be on the verge of revolutionising the prosthetics industry – by using 3D printing techniques to create lifelike ears, eyes and noses. The Yorkshire Post reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe technology he is employing means there is potential to craft dozens of parts in the space of a single hour.

Mr Fripp, owner of Rotherham-based Fripp Design, says the process is a “game changer”, with some of his products just months away from hitting the market.

He said: “We have hundreds of noses and ears, there really are an infinite number of options for the patient. “The technology will make the prostheses a lot more affordable for a lot more people.”

The traditional method of making a prosthesis begins with a plaster cast of the affected area. A wax mould is then carved from the cast and the replacement body part made in silicone from the mould.

Mr Fripp’s technique sees a scan being taken of a patient’s face so the digital model of the prosthesis can be tweaked before printing to ensure it is a perfect fit.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article

emily | 8:56 AM | permalink

March 12, 2014

Pioneering 3D printing reshapes patient's face in Wales

_73523858_skull.jpg A survivor of a serious motorbike accident has had pioneering surgery to reconstruct his face using a series of 3D printed parts. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgStephen Power from Cardiff is thought to be one of the first trauma patients in the world to have 3D printing used at every stage of the procedure.

Doctors at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, had to break his cheekbones again before rebuilding his face. Mr Power said the operation had been "life changing".

... In order to try and restore the symmetry of his face, the surgical team used CT scans to create and print a symmetrical 3D model of Mr Power's skull, followed by cutting guides and plates printed to match.

Maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar says the 3D printing took away the guesswork that can be problematic in reconstructive work.

"I think it's incomparable - the results are in a different league from anything we've done before," he said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 11:26 AM | permalink

March 4, 2014

3D printing makes more precise Knee implants

5315488ab3f47.preview-300.jpg A Houston man became one of the first in the nation to have knee replacement surgery with a replica of his old knee last year thanks to a Cypress area surgeon and a 3D printer. YourHoustonNews reports.

quotemarksright.jpgWhile an estimated 600,000 people have knee replacement surgery last year in the United States, only a few surgeons offer 3D printed knee implants.

Usually patients receive off-the-shelf knees, which requires the surrounding bone to be chiseled and shaped to fit the implant. With a customized knee, surgeons can remove 30 percent less bone, said Dr. David Mack, head of Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Cypress.

... A national study group consisting of about 100 patients and eight physicians is showing positive results.

“If you look at knee replacements in general, they have an 80-85 percent success rate,” he said. “One of the major reasons knee implants don’t provide the pain relief they’re designed to provide, has to do with fit. If the implant is too large it tends to cause friction or pain. And if the implant is too small it can cause instability or sense of looseness in the knee. The implant can also wear out prematurely.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:13 AM | permalink

January 7, 2014

How a TIME Article Led to the Invention of a $100 3D-Printed Artificial Limb

Changing lives thanks to 3D printing. Please watch. [via TIME]

emily | 5:58 PM | permalink

December 11, 2013

3D-printed skull simulates sensations of brain surgery

It's not exactly brain surgery – but it's pretty close. An ultra-realistic 3D-printed skull that recreates the texture of different layers of tissue is allowing students to practise drilling into bone and removing a tumour. New Scientist reports.

quotemarksright.jpgVicknes Waran from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and colleagues created the model using the latest generation of 3D printers, which can print plastic in a variety of textures, from rubbery to hard. By tweaking the printer's settings, they mimicked the consistency of skin, bone and membranes to build up the layers inside a skull. To reproduce a jelly-like tumour, plastic was injected into an anatomically accurate cavity created by the printer, based on scans from a patient. It was then coloured red to add realism.

The skull is an improvement over existing models that use a single material because it allows trainees to see, feel and even hear how each type of tissue responds. Patient-specific replicas can simulate different medical conditions, allowing students to rehearse an entire operation ahead of time.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 7:21 PM | permalink

November 29, 2013

3D printed prosthetic-eyes

3D-printing-can-produce-up-to-150-prosthetic-eyes-per-hour_dezeen_ban3.jpg British company Fripp Design and Research has developed 3D-printed prosthetic eyes that could be produced much faster than existing handmade versions, reducing the cost by 97 percent. Dezeen reports.

quotemarksright.jpg Fripp Design and Research, which is also working on 3D-printed ears and noses for patients with facial disfigurements, has collaborated with Manchester Metropolitan University to develop ocular prosthetics that are 3D-printed in batches, with intricate coloured details including the iris and blood vessels already included.

Currently, prosthetic eyes are moulded in acrylic and painted by hand to match the patient's eye colour. This process is time-consuming and expensive, whereas producing the eyes using a 3D printer enables up to 150 eyes to be made in an hour.

All of the components are printed from powder in full colour using a Z-Corp 510 machine before the resulting form is encased in resin. Compared to the existing handmade production method, this helps to remove any variation in quality and significantly reduces the cost of each eye, which is currently up to £3000 in the UK.

"Because each one is produced from the same system the consistency is the same and the cost is drastically reduced to approximately £100," said Fripp.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 2:38 PM | permalink

November 10, 2013

Faces to order: how 3D-printing is revolutionising prosthetics


Sheffield-based Fripp Design has developed a system for fast and low-cost manufacture of facial prostheses. The Guardian reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe University of Sheffield company have developed a process in which the patient's face is 3D-scanned, avoiding the need for a sometimes painful and invasive impression, and the specific contours then added to a digital model of the new prosthetic part, to create a perfect fit every time. The parts themselves can be scanned from other people or replicated from the patient's own physiognomy – one ear can be scanned and mirrored to replicate another.

"We have a whole bank of different noses and ears now," says industrial designer Tom Fripp. "One lady had always admired her friend's nose, so we made her one just like it."

The parts are 3D-printed in full colour in starch powder, forming a lightweight model that is then vacuum-infiltrated with medical grade silicone, binding it together and providing durable flexibility. The first prosthesis costs around the same as the traditional process, but once the digital model has been made, successive parts can be produced for around £150.

"Prostheses do tend to wear out and degrade after exposure to water, sun and daily wear and tear," says Fripp. "But 3D-printed prostheses allow for different options – for example if you get a sun-tan, you can just email us about your new skintone and we'll print you a new one."

The target market for which the project was developed, he says, is the developing world, where prosthetic skills are often in short supply. The main barrier at present is the prohibitive cost of 3D-scanning technology, but with prices coming down, the availability of low-cost, individually-customised prostheses could soon be a reality.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:21 AM | permalink

3 ways 3-D printing could revolutionize healthcare

3-D printing has lately gained momentum as a (cheap, quick) manufacturing endpoint in and of itself. “The biggest advantage of 3D printing is that everything is customizable,” said Markus Fromherz, Xerox’s chief innovation officer in healthcare. Quartz reports.

quotemarksright.jpg There are three categories of healthcare where 3-D printing could be applied, or is already, Markus Fromherz, Xerox’s chief innovation officer in healthcare. said: for body parts or prosthetics (sometimes called “scaffolding”), medical devices, and human tissues.

1. Scaffolding

Printing technology has already revolutionized joint replacements, Fromherz said. “Knee replacement is a very common procedure, there are six or so different types of knees that doctors use,” he said, adding, “with each one you need to cut the bone differently.”

But with 3-D printing, doctors aren’t limited to those six knees. They can design one specific to each patient.

Patients with custom knees don’t have to lose extra inches of bone, instead the surgeon can cut at the optimal point, which could lead to faster recovery times and better functionality. Strong, flexible new knee joints mimicking bone and cartilage can now be printed with nylon. These surgeries are available at top-tier medical facilities like the Mayo Clinic.

2. Medical devices

Most hearing aids are already 3-D printed, since these have always been customized to the user, and scanning, modeling, and printing saves time over casting a handmade mold of the inner ear. What used to take a week now takes less than a day. Similarly, making crowns and dental implants–once a two week process–can happen while the patient reads a magazine in the waiting room.

3. Human tissues

Scientists have printed artificial meat tissue suitable for eating, but making tissues and organs that maintain life has been much harder. So far, printed bits of functional liver tissue in Petri dishes could be viable for testing drugs, and larger models have been useful for surgeons to practice technique. “Printing functional human tissue will be a game changer, but it’s far out,” Fromherz said.

... It still takes at least 30 minutes to print anything. The technology may one day be most useful at military field hospitals or at the scene of an accident, where immediately creating splints, body parts or devices could save lives, but it’s not quick enough yet to be implemented. “There will be 3-D printers, I’m sure, in every home and hospital in the future,” Fromherz said. “But right now the tech isn’t fast enough.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:22 AM | permalink

October 29, 2013

Boy gets prosthetic hand made by 3-D printer

Two years ago, Paul McCarthy began searching for an inexpensive yet functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one of his hands. McCarthy came across a video online with free detailed instruction on how to use a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand for his son. CBS Evening News reports.

emily | 5:09 PM | permalink

August 12, 2013

China. Hospital uses 3D printed orthopedic implants


Peking University Third Hospital, a top hospital in China, recently announced that its Orthopedics Department has been using enhanced implants produced by a 3-D printer in a clinical trial, with promising results. China Daily reports.

quotemarksright.jpgWe started clinical trials on 3-D produced implants late last year, and now we have used dozens of such implants in more than 50 patients," said Liu Zhongjun, director with the department."All the patients recover very well. Nobody seems to have any undesirable side effects or adverse reaction.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:37 AM | permalink

August 1, 2013

Doctors in Belgium use Mcor paper-based three-dimensional printing to reduce maxillofacial surgical time dramatically

TMD0613_pg30.jpg Time is critical when a patient is undergoing surgery. The longer the patient’s internal tissue is exposed, the greater the risk. When a patient can be quickly closed up and begin recovery, chances are greater for a healthy recovery. [via Today's Medical Development]

quotemarksright.jpgThese concerns are on the minds of maxillofacial surgeons at the Cliniques universitaires saint Luc, Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium, who often need to reconstruct bones in a patient’s skull, such as a jaw ravaged by cancer or an eye socket crushed in a car accident.

The surgeons employ paper 3D printing technology from Mcor Technologies, Duneer, Ireland, to recoup hours from traditional surgical procedures. Working from the digitally scanned contours of patients’ bones, doctors push a button to create full-size 3D physical models they can use as surgical guides.

Since the model is a facsimile of the patient’s actual physiology, surgeons can use it to shape metal inserts that fit precisely along a patient’s residual bone. The insert might be a plate that supports a damaged mandible or a titanium mesh for reconstructing a damaged eye socket. Without 3D physical models to work from, it would force surgeons to rely on time-consuming trial and error to shape the metal implants and risk potential tissue damage.

“With each procedure, we easily win an hour in the operating room, and that is a major benefit for the patient,” says Professor Raphael Olszewski, a surgeon and head of the university’s oral and maxillofacial surgery research lab (OMFS Lab, UCL). “We open the patient up, slide in the device, check the fit, and start the patient’s recovery.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 3:25 PM | permalink

June 30, 2013

3D printed arm cast: super light and shower friendly


This cortex cast utilizes the x-ray and 3d scan of a patient with a fracture and generates a 3d model in relation to the point of fracture. Its fully ventilated, super light, shower friendly, hygienic, recyclable and stylish.

There is down side according to Michael Interbartolom: the 3D printing of the cast takes around three hours whereas a plaster cast is three to nine minutes, but requires 24-72 hours to be fully set.

emily | 9:40 AM | permalink

June 26, 2013

Disabled duck gets new foot thanks to 3D printing

duck_4.jpg Born with a backwards foot, a duck called Buttercup could only walk in great pain -- until his owner came up with a novel idea for a flexible prosthetic. C/net reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAfter Buttercup had his foot amputated in February, 3D printing company NovaCopy agreed to donate its services. Using photos of the left foot of Buttercup's sister Minnie, they designed a brand new left foot for the maimed duck.

Because the foot needs to be flexible, the usual plastics used in 3D printing aren't viable. Instead, NovaCopy printed a mould, which will be used to cast a silicone foot for the lucky duck, creating several iterations of the design to come up with the perfect one. It will be attached to his foot via a silicone sheath.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 1:29 PM | permalink

June 13, 2013

One-of-a-kind 3D-printed prosthetics bring beauty to amputees


A company in San Francisco called Bespoke Innovations creates custom 3D-printed covers (or "fairings") for prosthetics limbs.

[via Crave]

Previously: - Custom designed coverings for prosthetic legs built using 3D printer

emily | 9:04 PM | permalink

May 23, 2013

Open-source prosthetic hand can be made with a MakerBot 3D printer for $150

robohand-1.jpg Current prosthetic technology is highly complicated and expensive, and can cost up to $10,000 for a basic prosthetic finger. Imagine if instead of having to rely on complex and costly products and equipment, we could simply print out a full prosthetic device from the convenience of home.

Robohand is a mechanical 3D-printed hand that can be created using a MakerBot 3D printer.

The design files and assembly instructions for Robohand can be found on Thingiverse.

Read full article in PSFK.

emily | 6:25 PM | permalink

May 20, 2013

The Next Frontier For 3-D Printing: Helping The Disabled

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 7.01.59 PM.png For Enabled By Design, a nonprofit specializing in “good design [that] can support people to live as independently as possible,” 3-D printing is a game-changer. Instead of buying mass-produced products, people with disabilities can manufacture exactly what they need to suit their individual needs. FastCoDesign reports.

quotemarksright.jpgLate last year, the organization held a designathon in London, below are some of the projects that came out of it:

-- For Paul Carter who co-directs a television production company , born without lower arms and legs, and is a heavy coffee drinker, using a 3-D printer, competitors created a prototype water-heating device that could be operated without hands and which could be manipulated using upper arms.

-- fingertip cacti are tabletop dining utensils that slip on users’ fingers. The cacti are designed for eaters with motor impairments and make handling food significantly easier. In the case of the finger cacti, a 3-D printer was used to quickly produce prototypes that users could test out at the designathon.

-- Playsettings, which are spill-resistant tea cups, were fabricated on 3-D printers and have already made it to market.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:50 PM | permalink

April 23, 2013

The 3D printed future of medicine is here today

inside-3D-printing-dvice-top.jpg The "Inside 3D printing" expo, a two-day event held in New York showcased everything from the latest 3D printers and scanners to the ever-broadening spectrum of printing filaments. But hidden away in a conference room were a small array of 3D printed medical apparatuses that are already changing the face of surgery, without all the fanfare of a skull replacement. Dvice reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAtop a simple table sit a handful of printed medical models, joints, surgical guides and a few porous, metal semi-spheres. These little marvels, strangely enough, are some of medical 3D printing's greatest success stories to date.

... 3D printing allows for the cheap, easy creation of complex structures, like a sphere with a solid interior and a porous exterior. The solid interior helps the new hip joint sit and function properly, the necessity of any replacement joint.

The porous exterior does something even more. It encourages your existing pelvic bone to grow into and through its Swiss cheese-like holes. And when that happens, something is achieved that is practically unheard of in the world of prosthetics: the replacement hip gets stronger — as if it were a real, healing part of your body. Check out the whole array of under-sung 3D printed medical tools in Dvice's gallery. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:12 PM | permalink

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