Tag Archives: medical

Facial Reconstruction through 3D Scan, Print

UK Doctors are reverse engineering and reconstructing a man’s face, thanks to 3D technologies. Warning – some images could be graphic.

Eric Moger lost half of his face to cancer and as a result could no longer eat, drink or speak.  Doctors scanned his face and mirrored the “good” side over the “bad.”  The result is a model of the face very similar to how it used to look.  From that the team of doctors was able to develop a prosthesis that allows the patient use of his mouth again.

For the first time in five years, Eric Moger is able to speak clearly without holding his mouth, eat without a feeding tube, and hold his head high while going to the pub with his friends.

In the words of Mr. Moger, himself, “It is a great feeling to look in the mirror and see a whole face again. I am amazed at what they have done  – it just looks so like me. I also have something to look forward to, as Karen and I are planning to finally get married this summer.’

Mr MogerMr Moger

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75% of Skull Replaced Due to 3D Printed Plastic Implants

Thanks to FDA approval of the process just last February 18th, Oxford Performance Materials replaced 75% of a patient’s skull using a 3D printed replica as an implant.

They were able to take a digital scan of the patient’s skull and turn it into a 3D plastic part.  This plastic was printed so that the edges had very high porous detail, allowing for the bones to grow into and fuse to the plastic.  This allows for lower chance of rejection and an overall stronger new skull than traditional implants.


The plastic is a high performance medical grade polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) developed by Oxford Performance Materials for the EOS P800, a plastic selective laser sintering (SLS) machine.  Selective laser sintering fuses layers of thermoplastics together using an extremely precise laser.

Immediately, the company envisions that 300 to 500  patients could use this implant every month in the United States alone.

But don’t just stop at skulls.  OPM’s president, Scott DeFelice says, “If you can replace a bony void in someone’s head next to the brain, you have a pretty good platform for filling bony voids elsewhere.”

The company is submitting for FDA approval of bone implants for many other parts of the body.  Each individual bone, including the skull, could be between a 50 and 100 million dollar market.

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9 Ways 3D Printing Will Change the World

Do you remember when StarTrek or The Jetsons aired? Both shows seemed to have accurately predicted the way technology has advanced in the past decade with their replicator machines. Although this emerging form of technology is widely recognized as a way to produce mass amounts of prototypes and other forms of commerce, it’s potential reaches further than that. 3D printing is becoming a crucial part of manufacturing advanced systems and replacement parts for almost every industry.

1). Medical Industry

2). Advances in Research

3). Product Prototyping

4). Historic Preservation

5). AEC

6). Advanced Manufacturing

7). Food Industries

8). Automotive

9). Jewelry/Accessories

Read the full article here!

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3D Printer Used to Print Vascular Networks

A major challenge in tissue engineering is the integration of blood vessels among cells to uniformly supply them with nutrients.

Researchers from University of Pennsylvania and MIT just reported in journal Nature Materials the ability to print 3D filament networks that may serve the role of vessels in the future.  They implemented the open source RepRap 3D printer with a few of their own changes, including a customized extruder and control software.

Read the full article here!


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Yoda helps explain the latest technology innovation

The force is strong with this technology… Although 3D printing is still in its infancy stage, the rate that it is evolving is astounding. At first, 3D printing was used for rapid prototyping in design visualization and development. The technology has arrived to the point where it can now be used for final part production, printing circuitry, and even artificial bone structures. This article illustrates the detail and intricate geometries that are possible with this technology, and it is getting better everyday. Almost every industry can benefit from additive manufacturing in one way or another. Experts are constantly discovering new applications such as printing “smart” wings for UAVs, printing organs and prosthetic limbs, and of course printing Yoda figures (my favorite)!

Check out the full article and video here!

All finished: And so Yoda is complete, down to the smallest details of his little green head

Thanks Yoda, you are very wise!

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3D printing assists in Belgium’s first full-face transplant!

A 65-strong medical team at Ghent University Hospital, headed by Phillip Blondeel, performed Belgium’s first full-face transplant. This was the world’s nineteenth face transplant, but it was the first time that the procedure was planned digitally. Engineers used a model from a CT scan to examine the patient’s defects so they could 3D print anatomically correct models of what healthy bones in the patients’s face should look like. The printed “guides” were then used as a reference during the surgery, sitting on the donor’s face so the surgeon knew exactly where to cut.

Check out the full article here!

full face 3d repair

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Vice-President Joe Biden shares his vision for the future

Vice President Joe Biden gave the commencement speech at the Cypress Bay High School in Florida for the graduating class of 2012. He shared his vision for the future and placed an emphasis on the medical advantages of additive manufacturing.

“Imagine a day, when in your, doctors are able to regenerate entire body parts and limbs that have been damaged and lost, not only saving tens of thousands of lives, but restoring the thousands of our Iraq and Afghan veterans coming back in need of prostheses, so they will be able to live a full and ambulatory life.”

Click here to view the full article!

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Printing a Human Kidney: One Step Closer to Immortality

Organ transplant wait time has been steadily increasing over the last three years by approximately 70%. Bloggers online have shared horror stories of watching family members suffer in pain as they wait for news about a kidney or heart they need transplanted to survive (nearly three people die everyday while waiting for organs). Surgeon Anthony Atala may have found a solution to this problem: printing organs. Although still in early stages this research can solve many issues surrounding transplanting organs by growing them instead.

Check out the full article here!

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University of Glasgow Experiments with 3D Printing Customized Drugs

In an article published by BBC on Wednesday, we found out that scientists at the University of Glasgow are attempting to use 3D printing to create drugs and other chemicals. Currently, researchers have created a variety of “organic compounds and inorganic clusters- some of which are used to create cancer treatments.” This same technology could eventually be used to create customized medicines. Researchers anticipate this will be the case for pharmaceutical firms within the next five years, and available to the public within 20 years.

“We’re extrapolating from that to say that in the future you could buy common chemicals, slot them into something that 3D prints, just press a button to mix the ingredients and filter them through the architecture and at the bottom you would get out your prescription drug.”

If this endeavor proves to be successful, future development could yield big changes in access to healthcare. Scientists allude to a world in which “doctors and individuals could ultimately download pre-set recipes and even tailor medicines to their individual needs.”



Read more on this interesting news: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-17760085

Check out RapidMade’s website: www.rapidmade.com

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