New Blood Recycling Machine Contains 3D Printed Parts

Behind the explosion in interest in additive manufacturing (AM) are a few simple facts that make the technology so appealing. Parts built through AM waste less material, are often quicker to produce, and can be much more complex than parts built using traditional manufacturing methods. These facts have led companies in every field, around the world to embrace 3D printing and experiment with new applications.

One of those new applications is a new blood recycling machine developed by Brightwake. Based in Nottinghamshire, UK, Brightwake is a “… creative development, engineering, production and research company specializing in the development of innovative solutions for all kinds of manufacturing, operational and logistical problems.” In this case, the creative development is called Hemosep and it was built in part using a Stratasys Dimension 1200es. Continue reading

Researchers Bioprint a Trachea

Additive manufacturing (AM) has created mechanical marvels and produced technological triumphs, and while you might appreciate what the technology has done for industries such as aerospace, no use of AM is more valuable to humanity as a whole than what has been accomplished in the medical field. Low-cost prosthetics are only the tip of the iceberg for medical 3D printing. The future is in biology.

Bioprinting is the future of medical technology, and researchers at Mount Sinai have produced what may be the first feasible bioprinted transplant. In late January, the research team built a trachea using 3D printing and a biological membrane. The team seeded the membrane with a stem cell solution, and primed the stem cells by adding growth factors that transform the cells into cartilage precursors. Continue reading

Penguin to Receive 3D Printed Beak

Additive manufacturing (AM) has proven a boon to the medical industry, particularly in the area of prosthetics. A scanner, a 3D printer, and a bit of know-how have brought about the production of inexpensive prosthetic designs that have helped people around the world. The same technology has also been used to help animals suffering from life threatening injuries.

A penguin in the Warsaw Zoo will be the latest beneficiary of a 3D printed prosthetic. Although zoo officials aren’t sure how it happened, the penguin managed to break its beak and hasn’t been able to feed itself. Without a replacement, the animal would have either eventually starved to death, or been put down. Continue reading

Man Receives 3D Printed Facial Reconstruction

Additive manufacturing (AM) is improving the standard of living for people around the world. Quite apart from its contributions to science and industry, 3D printing is capable of offering solutions to complex medical problems. One area of particular note is the AM of prosthetics and bone reconstruction, with multiple surgeries taking advantage of the technology.

One of the latest recipients of 3D printed reconstructive elements is Stephen Powers, a 31 year-old man from Cardiff, Wales. Powers was involved in an automobile accident in 2012 while riding his motorcycle. Though wearing a helmet, he suffered a number of serious injuries, including damage to his face and left eye. Continue reading

Researchers Develop Multifunctional Membranes for Heart Health with 3D Printing

Medical additive manufacturing (AM) has developed into its own field. It seems like not a day passes without medical researchers discovering a new way to use the technology to either save or improve lives. Whether its low-cost prosthetics, or medical implants, AM has brought a bevy of new options to health care.

New research has focused on combining 3D printing and heart health. In a paper titled “3D multifunctional integumentary membranes for spatiotemporal cardiac measurements and stimulation across the entire epicardium,” published in Nature Communications, a team of scientists describes the method they employed to create a membranous sleeve that can surround a heart to provide monitoring and cardiac assistance. Continue reading