3D printing has become increasingly popular in the Medical industry over the last few years and this is evident in the fields of teaching, planning and practicing medicine. In this blog article, we uncover the possibilities in each one of these fields to utilize Stratasys 3D printers, such as the new J750 Digital Anatomy Printer (DAP) that is capable of replicating the look, feel and responsiveness of human tissue.
In medical teaching atmospheres, accuracy and feel are not as important as the detail of the part. Typically, these parts are used to demonstrate where certain anatomy is on the human body. Certain parts like organs, blood vessels or tissues may be oversized or undersized to highlight specific anatomy. These models are typically made from silicone and are only available for certain parts of the body.
With 3D printing, teachers can print models to show off unique or rare anatomy for a much lower cost. The J750 DAP comes equipped with hundreds of anatomically accurate presets to allow users to “click & print” specific anatomies without prior knowledge of material types and 3D printing. These J750 DAP anatomies can even replicate diseased tissue to ensure the student is working with a model that is as close to the real thing as possible with ultra-realistic detailing.
Surgical planning is becoming an increasingly popular field for 3D printing. Radiologists are able to gather scans of a specific patient's anatomy, take that data (typically referred to as Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine or DICOM) and 3D print it with realistic features like hepatic feel. This can prove crucial for surgeons that must operate on difficult areas of the body that typically involve a much more invasive procedure. The surgeon can practice the operation multiple times before ever operating on an actual person. This prevents a multitude of surprises that could arise during operation due to the lack of visibility with traditional methods. This can also help put a patient at ease knowing how the surgery is going to go and seeing the problem in 3D in front of them. These models make planning more successful by eliminating a lot of unknowns that surgeons face with each operation.
Medical device companies offer training and certification on any new product they develop. This involves the use of a cadaver (typically either a human or pig) to test these devices. This provides the mechanical feedback that doctors need of real tissues when testing these devices. This can prove very costly for medical device companies that have to buy, hold and dispose of hundreds of cadavers.
With the new J750 DAP you are able to print parts with the mechanical feel of real human bone and tissue for 70% less than the cost of a cadaver alternative. This is due to the three new materials, as well as a Voxel-based slicer, that can generate different types of anatomy from bone, tissue, tumors and more. Practicing on models that to do not accurately represent specific scenarios of procedures is unnecessary and quickly becoming a thing of the past.
3D printing is becoming much more common in the medical world as technology continues to advance. With the J750 DAP, you are able to print full-color parts for models that mimic actual human tissue. The hundreds of bio-mechanically accurate presets include options like individual vertebrae, femur, healthy heart and hole in heart. These will prove vital in helping doctors and surgeons perform very complex procedures and could very well help save lives.
Learn more about the J750 DAP and how it can improve your teaching, planning and practice efforts.