As 3D printing technology evolves, its impact on the healthcare field continues to experience exponential growth. From improving accessibility and availability of prosthetics to innovations in reconstructive surgery to the advent of patient-specific implants, advances in medicine since the inception of 3DP are truly spectacular! Combining the power of Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology – including the J750, Connex, and Fortus Series – with PolyJet Material, addresses the particular needs of healthcare professionals and magnifies the possibilities for a wide range of disciplines.
This summer we were thrilled to host our first 3DP Healthcare Solutions “Medical Roadshow” with Stratasys on June 7th at CIC Boston.
This open-panel discussion on 3DP technology for healthcare included a presentation on up-to-the-minute Medical Use Cases for hospitals and medical research from Michael Gaisford, Director of Marketing for Stratasys Medical Solutions. During the lively catered cocktail event, attendees also had a chance to examine anatomical models printed on various 3DP machines, including the Stratasys J750 & Connex series.
Distinguished Guest Speaker:
Dr. Albert Woo
Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Director of the Craniofacial Program at Rhode Island Hospital/ Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Dr. Woo is well known nationally for his utilization of 3DP for pediatric facial reconstruction – children with cleft and lip palates, and a wide array of cranial and facial deformities. He offered advice on best practices for developing a 3D printing program in a hospital setting, including how to set up a lab, necessary resources, and how to develop a business model. He also presented clinical examples of:
• Craniofacial Models
• Cardiac modeling
• Tumor modeling
• Robotic Hands
Read more about the event here.
What stand-out benefits are medical professionals gaining from using Stratasys 3DP technology with PolyJet Materials?
Preclinical & Presurgical Training Models with Unsurpassed Realism
The Stratasys J750, in particular, offers complex geometries and blends of material properties that would be difficult or impossible to produce with conventional manufacturing methods. Using flexible materials, training models can mimic the look and feel of living tissue and can integrate instructional elements, such as labels or contrasting colors. These models can be produced on demand – thus avoiding the challenges associated with human cadavers like availability shortages and handling and storage expenses.
3D printing is the natural extension of current 3D scanning technologies including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A hallmark of the Stratasys J750 is its true, full-color capability, a breakthrough in 3D printing technology, which allows healthcare professionals to use individual scans to create anatomical models in intricate detail. The ability to 3D print with various colors is not new, but previous offerings forced users to sacrifice either color range or part quality. The Stratasys J750 changes this by producing smooth plastic parts with a broad spectrum of over 360,000 colors, produced using 5 color – CMYK+white processing.
Perhaps the most remarkable and beneficial example of this application? Modeling a specific patient’s anatomy, including pathology, lets doctors study the best approach for surgical intervention, all the while cutting surgical costs by reducing time prepping in the operating room, and reducing the chance of costly errors. This has proven particularly helpful to preparing for pediatric procedures. Surgeons are able to model true-to-scale, patient-specific models to prepare for the most challenging operations on the smallest of children.
Efficient, Rapid Prototyping & Development of Prosthetics, Devices, Implants & More
Rapid prototyping and product development are key areas where 3D printing helps medical device manufacturers. In-house 3D printing produces prototypes much more quickly and usually for less cost than traditional manufacturing methods, particularly when it replaces outsourcing. This speeds up the entire development process because designs can be changed and parts reprinted quickly. This iterative but fast-feedback loop gets products to clinical trial and to market faster, benefitting patients sooner.
An incredible array of characteristics can now be achieved right off the build plate. Stratasys 3DP technology is capable of producing multi-material parts that are concurrently full color and finely finished. As a result, prototypes that need to look, feel and function like future products are possible in a single print operation, with minimal to no finishing steps like painting, sanding or assembly.
For rapid prototyping programs, this versatility is an opportunity to meet the diverse demands of your operation without the inefficiencies associated with material changes or the need to invest in, operate and maintain a variety of technologies. You can print realistic prototypes, presentation models, Digital ABS injection molds, jigs, fixtures, educational pieces, production parts – or all of the above, with one system.
3D printed prosthetic devices & orthotics cost a fraction of typical solutions, in part because of the lower costs associated with additive manufacturing. They are personalized to the individual’s needs and in the case of growing children, replaced with new devices as needed for much less than traditional solutions.
Orthopedic surgical guides can be shaped to the patient’s anatomy instead of using generic guides. Tools specific to both the anatomy and surgical needs of the patient can be printed for single use resulting in a streamlined surgical operation. Both factors assure more precise treatment, resulting in fewer post-operative complications and faster recovery.
Lab Tools using 3D printed manufacturing tools like jigs, fixtures and other production aids streamlines the work process and helps shorten the product development cycle. It’s also a less costly approach compared to machining, which is often a disincentive.
Lab tools in the form of pipet racks, gel combs and other small parts can often be 3D printed for a fraction of the cost of what medical suppliers charge. They can also be tailored to the specific job needs making them a more versatile option than standard stock items
What doctors and medical researchers are saying:
“Once we got the Stratasys multi-material printer, we were able to print models that could, for instance, mimic the texture of the nose, the linings, and the harder tissue at the back of the nose. We found this very useful, especially in teaching trainees how to handle different materials.”
— Vicknes Waran, MD, director of Centre for Biomedical and Technology Integration(CBMTI)
Watch below: Dr. Waran and the team at CBMTI Discuss how they use PolyJet Technology to deliver a range of services including custom medical implants, prototypes for new devices and patient-specific models for surgical planning.
Superior Models that Mimic Authentic Training Conditions
“The Stratasys J750 can economically produce training mannequins in a wide range of normal and abnormal anatomies, replicating realistic colors and tissue textures, making it possible for surgeons to effectively train on abnormal and patient-specific anatomy.”
— Crispin Weinberg / Biomedical Modeling Inc.
The Ability to Accurately Model Internal Organs using Bio-Textures
“The multi-color and multi-material bio-models assist surgeons to uncover hidden tissues and blood vessels that may be blocked by larger organs in the 2D scans.”
— Dr. Maki Sugimoto, associate professor at Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine
The advances in medicine with the aid of 3DP technology in the past few years is truly astounding. With so much exciting news to share on what is current and what is on the horizon, we hope you can register to join us for an enlightening evening June 7th!
Stay tuned for more New England dates for Summer 2017.
Stratasys is the global leader in 3D printing and additive solutions, materials and services – delivering speed, innovation, performance and customization. Stratasys is empowering doctors, researchers and medical manufacturers to get products into clinical use faster, develop better therapies and to personalize care better than ever before with 3D printing solutions.
Fab@CIC is a digital fabrication lab serving the local design community and connecting to a global business network. Our mission is to bring together the city’s creative thinkers to connect across disciplines, learn new skills, share expertise, and invent the future together. We believe that providing public access to the tools for fabrication and technical invention in the heart of the Boston startup community, we can channel new forms of creativity into our city’s innovation ecosystem.
About AET Labs
Founded on the principle of bringing real-world industry experience into the technical training environment, AET Labs offers product solutions & instruction in today’s cutting edge Fab Lab tools. As a value-added distributor for educational training products, AET is committed to the concept that hands-on training provides necessary foundational skills in all technical areas.