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Found 13 results

  1. Bones The main advantage of the orthopedical presurgical 3d printed models is the possibility to create an accurate model, which can be used for metal osteosynthesis premodelling - the surgeons can prepare (bend, twist, accommodate) the implants prior the operation. After a sterilisation (autoclaving, UV-light, gamma-ray etc etc), those implants can be used in the planned surgery, which will decrease the overall surgery time (in some cases with more than an hour) with all it's advantages, including a dramatic decreasing of the complication rates, the X-ray exposure for the patient and for the surgeons, the cost and the recovery rates etc etc. For this purpose, you need a smooth bone model, with clearly recognizable and realistic landmarks, realistic measurements and physical properties, close to the real bone. Traditionally, the orthopedical surgeons in my institution used polystyrene models, made by hand, now they have access to 3d printed models and they are better in any way. Here are some tips how to print that thing. 1. Method - FDM. The bone models are the easiest and the most forgiving to print. You can make them with literally every printer you can find. FDM is a strong option here and, in my opinion, the best method on choice.2. Matherial - PLA - it's cheap, it's easy to print, it's the bread and butter for the bone printing. Cool extruding temperature (195-200C) decrease the stringing and increases the details in the models.3. Layer heigh - 0,150mm. This is the best compromise between the print time, the quality and the usability of the models.3. Perimeters (shell thickness) - 4 perimeters. One perimeter means one string of 3d printed material. It's width depends on the nozzle diameter and the layer thickness. For Prusa MK3 with 0,4mm nozzle 1 perimeter is ~0,4mm. To achieve a realistic cortical bone, use 4 perimeters (1,7mm). The surgeons loves to cut stuff, including the models, in some cases I have to print several models for training purposes. 4 perimeters PLA feels like a real bone.4. Infill - 15% 3d infill (gyroid, cuboid or 3d honey comb). The gyroid is the best - it looks and feels like a spongy bone. It's important to provide a realistic tactile sensation for the surgeons, especially the trainees. They have to be able to feel the moment, when they pass the cortical bone and rush into the spongiosa.5. Color - different colors for every fracture fragment. If the model is combined with a 3D visualization, which colors corresponds with the colors of the 3d print, this will make the premodelling work much easier for the surgeons. Also, it looks professional and appealing. 6. Postprocessing - a little sanding and a touch of a acrylic varnish will make the model much better.7. Support material - every slicer software can generate support, based on the angle between the building platform and the Z axis of the model. You can control this in details with support blockers and support enforcers, which for the bones is not necessary, but it's crucial for the vessels and the heart.Conclusions - the bone models are easy to make, they look marvelous and can really change the outcome of every orthopedical surgery.
  2. The last three weeks was a busy time for me. I purchased the best 3D printer of Fall 2018 - Prusa I3 MK3. I ordered it as a kit, the build itself took me 8 hours - my obsession with the electronics payed off - and immediately after that the printer was ready for some action. Prusa I3 is the most common 3D printer in the world - 70% of all printers are Prusa clones. Prusa MK3 is manufactured by the designer of the printer itself, Josef Prusa and most of it's parts are made by other MK3's in the Prusa's 3D printer farm. The printer is robust, tough, with very useful automatic functions and can print with most types of termopolymers (Polycarbonate included) with minimum layer thickness of 0,05 mm. Now I'm preparing an enclosure with automatic temperature and humidity control, Hepa and carbon filter and Octoprint upgrade for WiFi control. I bought cheap secon-hand server rack for this purpose (Fig. 4) - if it can keep a constant environment for the servers, it can do it for my printer, right? y first print was the object on Fig. 1 (what is the name of the organ?) Then I had more than 300 hours of unstoppable 3D printing and the printer doesn't made A SINGLE bad print. The only issue was the printing surface after print #12 - the next print didn't adhesed properly, so I had to wipe the printing surface with isopropyl alcohol. I was printing with PLA, now I'm starting with the first roll of PETG. My next step was to contact my colleagues from the orthopedic surgery clinic and to show them my first prints. They was exited by the result, so they provided a 1 mm. slide thickness CT scan of a Pylon fracture. Then I used the following workflow: 1. Slicer 3D, Resample Scalar Vollume to resample the set to 0,5 mm. 2. CurvatureAnisotropicDiffusion with 3 iterations. 3. Editor module for segmentation, model maker for the conversion to stl. 4. Autodesk Meshmixer for remeshing, editing and sculpting, Blender for smoothing. I prefer Meshmixer than Zbrush because it's much simpler and user-friendly. I'm also pretty good with it 5. I sliced the final stl with Slic3r, Prusa Edition and sliced the model on 0,150 mm slices, with support from the building plate, with 15% Gyroid infill (it looks exactly as a spongy bone), with Natural White PLA (17 euro per kilogram, from a local supplier) with the Natural PLA preset on the slic3r. 6. The print took 14 hours, the support was easy for removal (Fig. 2). 7. The orthopedical surgeons did their magic, first on the model (Fig. 3), then on the patient. They claimed, that the operation was very successful, thanks to my model and their skill. The chief surgeon is Dr. Preslav Penev MD PHD. My second project was a Pilon fracture of the ankle with multiple fragments, which I made with the same workflow. The patient is in operation right now. I also have two more projects, for a congenital aplasia of the talus with pes varus and for luxatio of the Lisfranc joint, so I hired two medical students and I'll teach them how to model (I already sent them Dr. Mike's beginners tutorial) for my future projects. I'm the first physician in Bulgaria, who performs preoperative 3D printing, which is very good for my career development. My colleagues called me a "pioneer" and I'm thinking about a 3D printing lab. I already ordered the Multimaterial Upgrade, which means SOLUBLE SUPPORT MATERIAL (I have to wait till January, it's in production right now). Jo Prusa's STL printer looks quite appealing too. Those printers are ridiculously cheap, considering how efficient never-stopping beasts of burden they are. I guest I should hit the vascular surgeons next...
  3. MBot GridII+ introduces a print cooling system based on aeromechanics, so that PLA is cooled immediately when extruding from the nozzle. Dual-head GridII+ is the only 3D printer available on market that is equipped with two dual-fan extruders, to provide the best print performance.
  4. Version 1.0.0


    These images are the isolated left thigh tumor muscle renderings of an 82 year old male with a dedifferentiated liposarcoma in the anterior compartment of the left thigh. This is an STL file created from DICOM images of his CT scan which may be used for 3D printing. Liposarcomas are the second most common soft tissue sarcoma in adults, occurring more commonly in males between the ages of 50 and 80 years old. They present as a slow growing, painless mass typically located in the extremities, with the thigh being the most common location. Multiple variants of liposarcomas exist, but the dedifferentiated type is a high-grade sarcoma. Dedifferentiated liposarcomas are typically located adjacent to a well-differentiated lipomatous lesion. The incidence of pulmonary metastasis increases with grade. Therefore, work up of the lesion consists of MRI, biopsy through the area of future resection, CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis to rule out metastases. Treatment consists of radiation and wide surgical resection but chemotherapy agents are being developed to target chromosomal abnormalities associated with certain well-differentiated and dedifferentiated liposarcomas. This patient received radiation and resection of the tumor and has not had a metastasis or recurrence in 4.5 years. This model came from the file STS_013.
  5. Here is an in depth review I came across on the the Formlabs Form 2 SLA printer. It has great resolution however its small build volume may limit its practical use to fabricate full size models. Link to review
  6. An entirely new 3D printing method that prints 25-100x faster than currently available technologies has been introduced. The new process called Continuous Liquid Interface Production Technology (CLIP) works by using light and oxygen to change a photosensitive liquid resin into a three dimensional solid object. The process is similar to Stereolithography (SLA) where liquid photopolymers are cured using ultraviolet light. However instead of depositing material layer by layer, the object is formed at once. CLIP places a pool of liquid resin over a digital projection system which projects an image for how each layer should form. To create an object, bursts of light and oxygen are applied; light hardens the resin while areas exposed to oxygen are kept from hardening. Proposed advantages of this technology include radically faster processing time and ability to use wide range of materials that make stronger objects. This technology can potentially be extremely useful in the health care industry if models can be printed within a matter of minutes and enable preoperative planning of surgical procedures that may be time sensitive. For a summary of other 3D printing technologies, check out my previous post here Tatiana Kelil, MD
  7. If you are like me and have no real background in engineering or chemistry, keeping the different 3D printing technologies straight may sound daunting. In this post, I will attempt to give a simplified overview of the seven major types of 3D printing technologies and summarize the key advantages and disadvantages for each. I hope this information helps anyone who is interested in acquiring a 3D printer understand the different processes better and direct you to a specific technology that suits your needs the best. 3D printing is an additive process that creates volume by adding material one layer at a time following a predetermined pattern as opposed to milling, where material is removed from a raw block. The American Society for Testing Materials (ATSM) has defined seven major additive manufacturing processes, each represented by one or more commercial technologies. 1) Vat photopolymerization (Stereolithography, SLA) Invented over 30 years ago, SLA is the foundational technology of 3D printing. In this process an ultraviolet light is applied to a vat (large tub) containing liquid photopolymer (plastic). UV light is used to cure the liquid photopolymer (convert the liquid into a solid state). When a layer is completed, a leveling blade is moved across the surface to smooth it before depositing the next layer. This process is repeated until the model is completed. Support structures are needed which anchor the parts on the build platform and support overhanging structures. Once complete, the part is drained and excess polymer is rinsed off. A final cure in a UV oven is often required to further solidify the object. Advantage: - High resolution and accuracy - Allows production of complex geometries Disadvantages: - Durability; photopolymers are the weakest material 2) Material extrusion (Fused Deposition Modeling, FDM) This process is analogous to a hot glue gun where a printer melts a cable roll of raw material (usually plastic) and extrudes it through a nozzle. Through the use of a second nozzle, a support structure can be built using a different material. The melted material is laid down on the build platform layer by layer, where it cools and solidifies. Once complete, support material is either mechanically removed or melted away. The majority of commercially available desktop printers are currently of the FDM type. Advantages: - Multiple materials/colors may be used for both build and support - Affordable, easy to use, can fit in an office Disadvantages: - Relatively slow build times - Limited surface quality, fine details may not be realized - Care needs to be taken during design to optimize final object strength 3) Material Jetting (Multijet modeling) This process is analogous to inkjet printing, but instead of jetting drops of ink onto paper, a 3D printer jets drops of liquid photopolymer onto the build tray. Liquid drops are then converted into a solid state using light. Support materials are required which are either mechanically removed or melted away once building is complete. Material jetting can combine different materials within the same 3D printed model, in the same print job. Fully cured models can be handled and used immediately without additional post-curing processes. Advantage: - High accuracy and surface finishes - Can combine different materials within the same 3D printed model Disadvantages: - Durability, Photopolymers are the weakest material 4a) Powder bed fusion (Selective Laser Sintering, SLS) This process uses laser to selectively sinter (melt and fuse) a thin layer of powdered material. The build platform will then be lowered and the next layer of plastic powder will be laid out on top. By repeating the process of laying out powder and melting where needed, the parts are built up in the powder bed. Unsintered loose powder supports the object during build so no other support structures are needed. The loose powder must be removed from the completed object. Advantages: - Relatively rapid build time - No support material is needed - Can manufacture parts in standard plastics - Low cost Disadvantages: - Surface finish can be rough 4b) Powder bed fusion (Electron Beam Melting, EBM) This process is similar to SLS, but uses electron beam instead of laser to melt and fuse a thin layer of powdered metal into a solid object. Completed object is embedded in a block of loose powder, which must be removed. Advantages: - Relatively rapid build time - Material recyclability is often possible, reducing potential waste. - Useful in settings that require complex internal structures for metal components Disadvantages: - Relatively high cost for the systems and the knowledgeable operators required to run them - Surface finish can be rough 5) Binder jetting (Powder bed and inkjet head printing) In this process a print head moves across a powder bed, laying down a liquid binding agent that glues the particles together to create a solid object. The built parts lie in the bed of loose powder, so no support structure is needed. Advantages:- Relatively rapid build time - No support material is needed - Simple and inexpensive technology - Can print a wide range of materials in full color Disadvantages: - Objects are relatively fragile and require post processing to improve durability 6) Sheet lamination This process stacks sheets of materials using binding agents (adhesives) or other joining processes such as friction welding and then cuts the edges of each layer to create the desired shape. Advantage: - Does not require a controlled environment and can be run in open air - Can be used to join dissimilar materials Disadvantages: - Ability to produce complex objects is limited 7) Directed energy deposition (Laser metal deposition) In this process material is directly deposited by jetting the build material into the heated zone created by a laser, electron beam or an ionized gas. Advantage: - Can operate in open air and at large scale - Multiple materials can be used in the same process - Good at processing a high volume of material quickly and inexpensively Disadvantages: - Lower accuracy and reduced ability to create complex objects Now that you have some idea about the different 3D printing technologies, I hope you will get a 3D printer of your choice and print your heart out! Tatiana Kelil, MD Sources: custompart.net, mechanicalengineeringblog.com, additively.com, 3dsystems.com, Deloitte University Press
  8. From the album: Printing your model: from XY to Z

    The hot end of the extruder (in red) is just as it sounds--it is the heated part of the extruder. To the right of the extruder is the z probe or z sensor (tip in orange). This is what allows for auto-leveling. The z probe senses the position of the print bed by inductive current produced by the aluminum in the table.

    © Beth Ripley 2015

  9. From the album: Printing your model: from XY to Z

    Auto-leveling compensates for any tilt of your print bed. The printing software commands the z-probe (z end stop) to probe 3 corners of the print bed to determine the position relative to Z0. Any deviation from a perfectly flat print bed is factored into the g-code sent to the printer after a model is sliced. This prevents issues such as models not sticking, the first few layers being drug through one another or, worst of all, your extruder jamming into the table.

    © Beth Ripley 2015

  10. From the album: Printing your model: from XY to Z

    In a perfect world, your print bed would be exactly level. This, however, is seldom the case. Auto-leveling your print bed before each print allows the printing software to determine the exact position of the print bed. This allows it to compensate for any tilt by adjusting the g-code sent to the printer. This will improve the quality of your prints and avoid issues such as prints not sticking or your extruder jamming into the table.

    © Beth Ripley 2015

  11. 3D printing is now very useful in the field of medical science as many medical researchers are tapping the use of 3D printing technology to streamline different medical procedures. The researchers from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science from the University of Central Lancashire developed 3D printer filament that consists of various drugs. Called the drug polymer filament, this small pill is used in place of conventional thermoplastic filaments like ABS and PLA. The researchers have made this filament using the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer. This means that it will also be possible for those at home to print their own tablet medications and pills. The purpose of this invention is to make it easier for patients to take their medication. Imagine waking up and hitting a button on the computer and after a few minutes, the printer is able to “print” the exact daily dosage of drugs that you need to take? With this invention, it will be more difficult for patients to forget about taking their pills. According to the researchers particularly the main proponent, Dr. Mohammed Albed Alhnan of the UCLan, this technology will also be useful among pharmaceutical companies. Since they can create customized medicine for each patient that they cater. Unfortunately, this invention will not be available until 2019 as scientists perceive that there are several regulatory obstacles that need to be addressed regarding the exact dosage and size of the pills. Nevertheless, this innovation is something that the pharmaceutical industry should be excited about.
  12. Medical marijuana is one of the most promising plants in medical science today. However, the use of medical marijuana is not widely accepted by many people and countries. This problem created an opportunity to some innovative companies. Israeli company Syqe Medical created a more acceptable medical marijuana inhaler using a 3D medical printer. This device delivers precise dosage of marijuana thus physicians can overcome the problem of unpredictability of prescribing medical marijuana. This innovative medical marijuana inhaler is connected to Wi-Fi in order for doctors and patients to monitor the dosage of the medical marijuana and ensure that only the correct dosage is delivered. Using the Stratasys 3D printer, the manufacturing process of the inhaler was faster thus clinical trials were also done in just a matter of days. CEO of Syqe Medical Perry Davidson said that different materials were chosen to create the chassis, shell, thermal housing and airway which make up the four parts of the device. He also added that metered dose inhalation of raw medical cannabis or other botanicals is a very difficult undertaking, developing the inhaler is very challenging at first and the company has to develop their own tools and machines to support the entire manufacturing process of this innovative medical marijuana inhaler. In fact, most of the production equipment as well as analytical tools to test the medical marijuana inhaler are printed within the company. The development of this device is very promising to people who want to try medical marijuana but are doubtful about its efficacy due to variations of dosages of the active ingredients in the natural plant. But with this new metered dose, these types of fears are now unfounded. Although the Syqe Inhaler has already been tested, it will be available to the public in 2015.
  13. A 3D printer, which is already in the process of being commercialized, makes 3D printed skin grafts a reality. Known as the PrintAlive Bioprinter, it was designed and created by engineers of the University of Toronto, namely Arianna McAllister, Boyang Zhang, Lian Leng and associate professors Milica Radisic and Axel Guenther. The designed printer has already reaped the 2014 James Dyson Award for student design. What’s so groundbreaking about this microwaved sized 3D printer is that it can create print grafts using the patient’s very own skin cells with matching sweat glands and hair follicles. It is also capable of creating large scale and uniform engineering of skin tissues. The PrintAlive Bioprinter uses biomaterials such as the patient’s own skin cells that are grown in a petri dish and from there the 3D printer can create a bandage like skin graft complete with all skin complexities like hair follicles and sweat glands. The process is quite simple in nature and goes like this: grown cells along with biomaterials are fed into the 3D bioprinter which then extrudes these materials through several channels. What comes out is a fine mosaic hydrogel, a product of the chemical reactions of the biomaterials. This mosaic hydrogel, a sheet like substance, can be layered on to create layers of tissue and is capable of conjoining growth with the living tissues of the human skin. This process eliminates the painful process of tissue donation and auto-grafting. The huge obstacle of skin grafting is immunologic rejection due to tissue donation—but since the 3D bioprinter makes use of the patient’s own skin cells this problem is totally eradicated.
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