The evolution in the thought process as it relates to 3D Printing is, in my opinion, the real evolution and continued development in this industry, that of the use of 3D Printers. It is really the imagination of the users as to what is possible that sets the bounds of what can be achieved. The uses where I am continually impressed by this innovation is in the medical field. Below I will briefly introduce a couple of these innovations and uses, then you can follow the links to get more details.
First is an article I found on the Stratasys blog about customizing heart valve replacements. This surgery is one of the most common of heart operations and it is being enhanced with the use of 3D Printing. By utilizing the PolyJet printers, body scans of the patients, and proprietary software the medical teams can print valve replacement models to include wavy fibers to mimic the actual fibers in the heart valves. These models are then used to test for leakage between the prosthetic that will be implanted during surgery. This step alone is impressive and helps reduce post-surgery complications. Check out the blog article to learn more.
The second article doesn’t use Stratasys printers, but it has an amazing result. A 20-year-old woman from New York with a rare bone cancer was in need of a new rib cage. Not too many years ago this would have been a story with a sad ending, but thanks to an Austrailian company who worked out the best way to 3D print a replacement rib cage and sternum from titanium. This has been done in other countries but this is the first one in the US. Check out the article here to learn more.
There are many companies who are using this technology in amazing ways to improve the medical devices and surgical practices. We are proud to have several as our customers.