Category Archives: 3D Printing

Custom 3D Printed Kidneys Help Surgeons Remove Tumors

The team uses pre-op CT scans to create 3D models of the kidneys, which are then transferred to the printer. The kidney is then printed out of two different materials so that the tumor and vasculature stand out from the rest of the organ. This allows the surgeons to initially see the tumor and vessels that will be much harder to spot during actual surgery.

via Custom 3D Printed Kidneys Help Surgeons Remove Tumors.

Myths and Truths of the 3-D Printing ‘Phenomenon’

Really great article about how 3D printing will compliment other manufacturing techniques, and what it’s really good for.

Never before have we had a technology where we can so freely translate our ideas into a tangible object with little regard to the machinery or skills available. Yet just as the microwave didn’t replace all other forms of cooking as initially predicted, 3-D printing will not replace other manufacturing technologies let alone industrial-scale ones for a variety of reasons. It will complement them.

via An Insider’s View of the Myths and Truths of the 3-D Printing ‘Phenomenon’ | Wired Opinion | Wired.com.

Pneumatic logic

The RepRap project was how I first learned about 3d printing. It has the remarkable mission, in that I’m remarking about it, of printing all of the parts to make another printer. Wow. Well, in principle, all of the circuits can be replaced with pneumatic ones. And also, you know, it might make a cool theme for a sci-fi flick. Just imagine a 3d printer printing with a background of hydraulic valves, pumps and hoses. Generate a pressure difference with steam and you’ve made a steam punk wet dream.

Insects au gratin

Insects Au Gratin looks for new ways of consuming insects and debates the nutritive and environmental aspects of insects as human food. One of the aspects that deters people from eating insects not only has to do with cultural background, but also with the aesthetics of the dishes themselves.

A project that takes insects, renders them into a sort of “flour” and then 3D prints edible objects with them. Watch the video to see the process in action.

via Susana Soares: Insects au gratin / Project.

How to 3-D Print the Skeleton of a Living Animal | Wired Science | Wired.com

Neat! The ability to visualize and handle 3D models of living animals internal organs and such could be a huge boon to surgeons, and make “exploratory” surgery much less common. I’ve not clue the risk/return comparison to be had between a CT scan (tons of radiation) and exploratory surgery, but I can imagine an overlap somewhere where this is preferred.

The idea to print skeletons from CT scans came from Evan Doney, an engineering student working in the lab of Matthew Leevy, who runs the biological imaging facility at the University of Notre Dame. ”At first I didn’t really know what the killer app would be, I just knew it would be really cool,” Leevy said. But he began to see new possibilities after striking up a conversation with an ear, nose, and throat specialist during an office visit for a sinus problem. “I actually got out my computer and showed him some slides, and by the end of it we were collaborating.”

Doney used several freeware programs to convert data from CT scans into a format that could be read by a 3-D printer. As a proof of principle, he and colleagues printed a rat skeleton in white plastic and printed a removable set of lungs in green or purple.

via How to 3-D Print the Skeleton of a Living Animal | Wired Science | Wired.com.