Entries in 3D printer (2)


3-D Printer Makes Model Memento of Fetus for Parents

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Most parents have to wait until their child is born to see what they look like, but new technology is letting parents create 3-D models of their child’s face, no labor required.

The Japanese company Fasotec developed technology that uses ultrasound scans and a 3-D printer to create a life size mold of a fetus’ face according to ABC News affiliate WJBF-TV in Augusta, Ga.

Kyoko Aizaka had one made of her now 2-month-old son, Kyosuke, during her third trimester.

“When we did it I was eight months pregnant, so he already had a human shape and baby face,” Aizaka told WJBF-TV. “I wonder how I’d have felt if I’d seen him earlier in my pregnancy.”

While the models created from ultrasounds are more mementos than medical evidence, the same technology can be used to help doctors practice for surgery.

Tomohiro Kinoshita, of Fasotec, told WJBF-TV that the machine can also help with diagnosis or complicated surgeries. For example doctors can replicate an organ to practice a complicated operation before they even touch their patient.

“What’s amazing about this technology is if … you do a scanning, we can make whatever is in the scanning screen,” said Kinoshita.

3-D printers have increasingly been used in the medical field. Last year doctors were able to print a custom replacement jaw for a woman in the Netherlands from a 3-D printer.

The new technology may be impressive, but it is not cheap. Buying a mold of your child before they are born cost approximately $500 per model, a bit more than your average snapshot.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


3D-Printed Cast Lets Broken Arms Breathe, Minimizes Odor

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Three-dimensional printing is making the medical rounds. Whether it’s a young boy’s new robot hand or an older woman’s customized jaw, the technology is catching on with doctors across the globe.

One of the latest projects is a new cast that looks like an attractive alternative to the bulky plaster and fiberglass casts used to treat broken bones. The new design comes from Jake Evill, a recent graduate of the School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

Dubbed “Cortex,” the cast looks like a mash-up of a spider web, a piece of honeycomb and a fishnet stocking. The network of holes is one of the new cast’s greatest benefits, said Leon Benson, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, as well as a practicing surgeon himself.

“It will at least allow patients to scratch themselves,” he told ABC News.

The new cast will also let air circulate and prevent the buildup of odor caused by traditional casts.

The network of holes also gives it another benefit: less weight. “A plaster cast might only weigh two or three pounds, but patients will say that it weighs a ton,” Benson said.

Although there is less material, Benson said he believes the cast will hold the patient’s arms firmly in place. “It looks strong enough to do the job,” he said.

Where Cortex still needs to be improved is in its manufacturing time. Designer Evill said the cast takes about three hours to produce, according to an article in Dezeen magazine. Plaster and fiberglass casts can be applied within minutes, but take a couple days to harden completely.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio