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Hil Hughes

Entry/Minimal Use 3d Printer recommendation?

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Hey, I have looked through the forums a bit, and there are some instructions and recommendations about specific printers, but I was hoping one (or more) of you guys could comment on what printer/model might be best for me.  

 

I work in a law firm, and recently we've been toying with the idea of printing models of some of our client's scans.   Not an everyday thing, and price and relative ease of use would be important. 

 

So:

  • Relatively easy printer to use
  • Decently supported
  • Limited use (not everyday printing, probably 4-6 big prints a year only)
  • Price may be important

 

Any ideas on printers and models?

 

 

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Medical 3D printing isn't at a point where a user can buy a printer, plug it in and do a few prints a year. There is a big learning curve a user must go through in order for prints to turn out correctly. This is especially true for medical trial exhibits where certain anatomy or conditions need to be highlighted from a CT scan. This requires 3D printing expertise and medical training.

 

Furthermore, you will need space and all the related tools that go with 3D printing. Some printer manufacturers show their printers sitting on an office desk. This really isn't practical because of the noise, heat and messy post print processing.

 

We offer a 3D printing service specifically for medical trial exhibits: https://www.embodi3d.com/3d-printing-anatomy-models-for-medical-malpractice-trial-exhibits/

 

 

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I think flaviu knows what a medical scan is. He is asking for specifics. CT? MRI? with contrast? If MRI what pulse sequence? T1? T2? MRAGE? post con? What body part? What slice thickness? etc etc. 

 

Hil, I think you may be underestimating the difficulty in printing from a medical scan. How are you going to extract your model data from the medical scan? How are you going to quality control the segmentation? How are you going to print it (size, material, layer thickness, orientation, supports, etc). You have to have this all planned out before you go down this road.

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If you want to scan people for fun, you can  use your cell phone for photogrammetry with free software. Then you can put the heads on different bodies and to print them. Something like this:
67525672_10219975960166196_7673800484167090176_o.thumb.jpg.ed5fc13a934267cafd4c856856e40108.jpg
For this purpose you can use every 3d printer up to 2000$. I myself prefer my original Prusa MK3, because I'm not an engineer and I prefer something to do all the printing stuff for me. Here is the result:
67335673_10219975877084119_7703454222573895680_n.thumb.jpg.7038961be2202496a2e0d3c8e1ca4fc7.jpg
When we're talking about medical 3d printing, we're talking about a whole different topic. The medical models have to be very precise and there is an industrial standards about it. For example, my models have 0,5mm deviation from the original body part at 95% confidence interval. I had a presentation at an morphology symposium about my favorite Lusoria model lately and now I have a lot of orders from the local hospitals, because of the standard, which I can achieve. For medical modeling you have to be an expert in all the morphological specialties (Anatomy, Pathology, Radiology) with some serious clinical background. To reach this level, you need:
1. Medical education.
2. A lot of treated patients, most of which have to stay alive after your job. The death patients are literally skeletons in the closet.
3. Some background in the basic dissection techniques, both the pathological and the anatomical ones.
4. The surgery training is a plus.
5. Some gaming experience or experience with CAD software. The computer games are like bodybuilding for the visual cortex.
6. 1+ years of hard work, everyday modeling, studying, drawing, dissections, consultations with the experts in the field, a lot of tears and some joy.
THEN you can do medical modeling, something like this.
I started to model, when I was an anatomy assistant professor, with 12 years of experience as an emergency internal physician. I had the chance to find this website with all it resources, tutorials and the awesome support from the administrators and after 1 year of really hard work, I became a professional, (one of the best in my region, in a matter of fact). But still, my biggest nightmare is that, because of my mistakes during the preoperative modeling, a patient will die. So - are we really talking about medical modeling or you just want to do some fun with your client's CT scans?

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