The world of medicine could become a lot cheaper, thanks to a team of researchers at Michigan Technological University (MTU).Engineer Joshua Pearce and his team of researchers at MTU created an entire digital library of open source designs for a particular medical device, a syringe pump. Each design comes in the form of a printable file that can be 3D printed with aRepRap 3D printer, and each file can be customized by doctors according to their needs. The team posted their findings in a research paper titled Open-Source Syringe Pump Library.Professional medical syringe pumps, which are frequently used by doctors for drug delivery to administer precise amounts of medicine, can cost between hundreds to thousands of dollars. By creating an open library of customizable printable syringe pump files, the team at MTU have enabled anyone with access to a 3D printer to attain a pump for a fraction of the cost. Whereas syringe pumps would previously cost thousands of dollars, doctors can now print them for nothing more than the cost of filament.
“Not only have we designed a single syringe pump, we’ve designed all future syringe pumps,” said Pearce. “Scientists can customize the design of a pump for exactly what they are doing, just by changing a couple of numbers in the software.”Another breakthroughPearce and his team tested out the library for themselves, using a 3D printer to print various pump designs. They decided to expand their idea even further and incorporate a Raspberry Pi as a wireless controller. With the Raspberry Pi, they could control the syringe pump remotely. This breakthrough could allow doctors to control medical devices even while not physically present.
“ A team of scientists consisting of R. Melnikowa, A. Ehrmann and K. Finsterbusch sought to artificially recreate textile structures using 3D printing technology. And as different printing technologies and filaments come with different advantages and disadvantages, they even tried several approaches.”
Via Andrea Graziano
“ In today's installment of "How 3D Printing is Changing Healthcare Forever," a Massachusetts-based medical device company is forging new ground in knee replacement surgery. A combination of CT imaging, modeling software and 3D printing technology is enabling ConforMIS to offer implants tailored specifically to each patient. The development could help avoid complications that often follow the procedure, such as pain arising from instability of the joint. One of the most promising applications of 3D printing in medical fields is its ability to produce patient-specific devices. We have recently seen 3D-printed implants enable a teenager to walk again, substitute cancerous vertebra in the neck, enable customized spinal fusion surgery and replace upper and lower jaws. Knee replacement surgery is a procedure undertaken by around 700,000 people annually, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Issues that can arise range from minor blood loss and infections, to the threat of deep venous thrombosis. But the team at ComforMIS believes it can improve on traditional methods by steering away from generic, "off-the-shelf" implants to a more customizable solution. The company's approach is much like others used in the production of 3D-printed implants. A CT scan is taken of the patient's hip, knee and ankle, with the company's specialized software converting the scan into an exact 3D model of the patient's deteriorating knee. Using this model, personalized implants and instruments are made as one-off devices, produced, in part, by 3D printers.”
Using Rhino to create CAD models and a plug-in known as Grasshopper, Adrian Goegl designed unique, custom eyeglass frames. These were then printed in polyamide provided by i.materialise's online 3D printing service.
“ Self-Assembly Lab, MIT + Christophe Guberan + Erik Demaine + Autodesk Inc. Custom wood grain designed and printed to promote active transformation when subject…”
Via Roberto S L Naboni, Hassan Raza Balti