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Taking 3D Printed Medical Solutions Farther Than Ever Before

by • April 20, 2016 • No Comments

3d4md-logoIn 2011, I founded 3D4MD with the undertaking of creating 3D printable medical supplies to donate healthcare in the most
challenging places to those whose need
is the greatest.

, 3D4MD is delivering
innovators, healthcare professionals and patients together to make
3D printable medical solutions that
can have a positive impact on one billion lives. Our role is to inspire, teach and empower individuals to become innovators and use 3D printing to solve big challenges. To enable us to attain these goals, we are assembling
a crowd-sourced digital library, like iTunes. But instead of songs, individuals can elect and download 3D printable files to make
high end-tested, affordable and actually personalized medical supplies on demand, locally.

Over one billion individuals lack access to electricity. In most
remote places, easy medical items are costly and can take weeks to months to arrive at a clinic. 3D4MD has turn it intod and tested a solar-powered, plug-and-play, ultra-transportable 3D printing process that
can make
a range of hygienic, effective and affordable medical supplies at the point of use. Healthcare workers visiting remote villages can bring this solar-powered suitcase 3D printing device with them to make
medical supplies on-site. These workers can leave these 3D printing devices behind after teaching the local clinic and community how to turn it into and 3D print their own solutions.

There are over one billion individuals with disabilities. Many of them need
, but can’t get, assistive devices that
allow them to participate fully in day to day
life. But now it’s possible to 3D print low cost assistive devices via local computer desktop 3D printing devices in public libraries, schools, make
rspaces, print shops or individuals’s homes. This saves time and money for individuals with disabilities. 3D4MD make
s award-winning, affordable 3D printable custom assistive devices ranging of easy items, such as finger splints, to harsh devices, like prosthetic hands.

A Humanitarian Design Process

3D printed custom mallet finger splint, scalpel blade handle, and dental tool turn it intod and 3D printed by the Crew 145 Health and Safety Officer via her 3D printing device powered by solar energy at the Mars Desert Research Station. Photo credit: Julielynn Wong
3D printed custom mallet finger splint, scalpel blade handle, and dental tool turn it intod and 3D printed by the Crew 145 Health and Safety Officer via her 3D printing device powered by solar energy at the Mars Desert Research Station. Photo credit: Julielynn Wong

At 3D4MD, we believe that
the perfect 3D printable turn it into of a medical device for low-resource environments should: (1) be make
d entirely out of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) printing device filament; (2) be printable without assist material via affordable, transportable futilized
deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing devices; (3) need no post-processing and little-to-no assembly by minimally trained personnel; (4) be functional, robust, reliable and customizable; (5) be hygienic or sterilization capable, depending on its clinical use; and (6) complete minimal power and printing device material.

How Far Can We Go?

Astronauts can’t take all things they can need
with them on a long space undertaking. So they may have to 3D print medical supplies, tools, equipment spare parts and actually habitats on-site. 3D4MD make
s 3D printable medical supplies to treat an ill or injured astronaut during a space undertaking. The future generation 3D printing device is now onboard the International Space Station. 3D4MD is scheduled to 3D print the initially medical tools in space.

With 3D printing, physical objects can be stored as digital files. So you can email medical supplies around the world or uplink hardware to space. This in addition
means it’s possible to crowd-source new 3D turn it intos on an unprecedented scale. Last year, I proposed a turn it into challenge for creating 3D printable medical supplies for the International Space Station. This project challenge, entitled “3D AstroMed Devices,” was launched during the 2015 NASA International Space Apps challenge, a two-day hackathon for turn it intoing new solutions for global challenges. Nearly 20 interdisciplinary teams of different types of
countries, that include
Australia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Finland, France, Japan, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States, competed in this turn it into challenge.

Oxygen for Two with GrabCAD

Winning entry for the Oxygen Splitter Challenge. Photo by Hans Kristian Bruun
Winning entry for the Oxygen Splitter Challenge. Photo by Hans Kristian Bruun

Last fall, 3D4MD was invited to assist turn it into and co-sponsor a humanitarian turn it into challenge hosted by GrabCAD, a library of over 1.2 million CAD files crowd-sourced of a global community of 2.9 million engineers. The Oxygen Valve Splitter” Challenge sought to turn it into a 3D printable oxygen splitter with independent control of oxygen flow rates for two patients, sharing one oxygen tank, who are receiving supplemental oxygen via nasal cannulas. This can assist conserve oxygen use, that is a precious commodity in low-resource settings. The judging panel consisted of 3D printing experts of the healthcare, citizen, industry and academic sectors.

More than 125 entries were submitted during the one-month challenge entry period. Based on 3D4MD’s recommendations, entries were judged on printability, functionality and cost. Printability was evaluated by the high end of 3D printed turn it intos make
d on a FDM computer desktop 3D printing device. Functionality was assessed based on the durablity
and fit of the device, the absence of air leakage and ease of use. Cost was estimated based on the amount of 3D printing device material utilized

The top five winners got cash prizes. All winning turn it intos are on the market for infinite humanitarian use.

3D4MD is now testing and refining these oxygen splitter turn it intos in a clinic for actuallytual deployment in the field. You can assist us improve the turn it into of an oxygen splitter or other medical devices that
can practuallyt need
less suffering, save the lives of individuals you can never meet and can go on
to assist individuals after you are
gone. Email us at www.3d4md.com/contact if you’d like to get involved as a volunteer.

Just imagine the big problems we may solve when we harness humanity’s collective creativity and compassion!

Stratasys has its finger on the pulse of 3D printing advancement in healthcare. Interested? Click here to sign up for the Stratasys Medical Innovation Series and obtain updates on the latest makes it to in medical 3D printing applications.

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