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3D Printing and Medicine: Product Design – 3D Printing Industry

by • July 3, 2016 • No Comments

When you ponder of medicine, product create most most likely is not the initially thing to come to mind. But, as a Product Designer myself, I understand that they’re requireed equitewhere. A toaster, an aeroplane interior, and actually medical implants. But why for medicine? Product Designers are problem solvers, and medicine is full of problems to solve.
So let’s donate a few context.
Implants, and prostheses.
As we all understand 3D printing is delivering these expensive, handcrafted tools and delivering them into the 21st century. But with a few assist of us proddies, they can be improved not just of a medically practical standpoint, but in addition as a general product that’ll be appeared upon by patients who aren’t qualified medical professionals.
A little additional context?
Fripp Design, a create agency.
They’ve may already got the patent for their Picsima silicone printing device, that prints a platinum catalyst into a bath of liquid silicone, creating a cleaner print than silicone printing devices that operate much like a quite expensive caulking gun. It comes at the cost of removing the finished print of a gooey vat of ooze that won’t just wash away under the kitchen tap, but there are tried and tested removal methods for the uncured silicone.
This particular agency has undertaken projects with the sole intention of creating high high end prostheses at a far lower cost, one of that being soft tissue prostheses, and the other being prosthetic eyes (ocular prosthesis). The ocular prosthesis project was done in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.
Prosthetic eyes are usually handcrafted and hand painted and created out of acrylic plastic. They are shaped like a shell and fit over an ocular implant, that is a rounded device that is permanently embedded deeper into the eye socket.
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The create aims for these ocular prostheses were:Drastically reduce the time take to make ocular prosthesesMatch as close as possible to existing high end of stock prosthesesProvide cost effective alternative to hand building stock prosthesesUse off-the-shelf technologyImprove consistency in supplySince the aim was to create standardised prostheses, there was no require for 3D scanning of a patient, so a prosthetic was modelled in CAD software. Next was to focus on how the iris may appear. In order to get a great thought of how the iris of an eye appears, the team utilized high resolution photos of eyes and drew up their own representations via photoshop.
The finished products were printed in a mixture of gypsum and silica, and 3D coloured. As a finishing system without the use of 3D printing, the eyes were and so coated with an acrylic monomer, much like non 3D printed ocular prostheses are finished.
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Project Results
The team was able-bodied to take the production time down to mere minutes, making 120+ eyes (in various colours) every hour. The colour and more detail of the irises of the eyes was in addition deemed ‘acceptable-bodied’ by professionals, and the production cost of every eye was reduced down to £5 per eye. Test results for impact and weathering were in addition successful, and the system has been patented.
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The involvement of Product Design in the medical field has been taking place in a few areas for a few time. As 3D printing grows in its applications inside the medical industry, it is quite most likely that the role of product createers in this field can just become additional significant.
With special thanks to Fripp Design


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