A new 3D printer is helping manufacturers build 3D printers that can print medical devices, from catheters to surgical implants, without using traditional tooling and manufacturing techniques.
A new $500,000 3D printing startup is also developing a robotic prosthetic arm, a 3-D printer that could potentially replace the bulky and laborious human arms that doctors use.
A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University is the latest to try to build 3-d printed prosthetics using metals, according to a report published Monday in the journal Science Advances.
Researchers at the university and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used 3-machined stainless steel as their material.
The researchers built the prosthetic using an X-ray laser, and then they printed the prosthesis in metal and resin.
They then built the robotic arm using a 3DS MAX 3D modeling program.
While the device was 3D-printed in metal, the researchers say they didn’t want to print the 3D structure on the material itself, which would be difficult to manipulate.
Instead, they chose to print 3D shapes on a 3M-based additive manufacturing system.
The printer can create structures of any size or shape.
The printed structures can be printed in different colors, and they can be customized for specific uses.
The prosthetics can then be assembled into a prosthetic limb.
The arm can also be assembled with a small amount of additional materials.
For example, the printer can print a prosthesis with a large amount of the same material, and the team said the material could be printed with a variety of metal colors.
For a prosthetics made from titanium, the 3-M additive manufacturing technology could cost about $4,000, and for a prostheses made from aluminum, about $3,000.
However, the price of 3-dimensional materials can vary widely depending on the specific material.
For instance, 3-dimethylhydrazine, a metal additive used in welding, can be 3,000 times more expensive than the titanium, which makes up the bulk of the prostheses used in the lab.
“With these new materials, the cost of 3D production has been reduced significantly, making it an attractive material for prosthetic materials,” said lead author Michael Wysocki, a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins.
“In fact, we have developed an additive manufacturing process to make titanium from 3M additive materials that are cheaper and easier to use,” he added.
The team’s prototype arm is 3D built using a laser, but the team says they are currently working on a more durable 3-axis printer.
“With this printer, we are able to create a prosthetically functional robotic arm that can withstand a variety, and in some cases, incredible temperatures,” said co-lead author Michael M. Tannenbaum, a graduate student at MIT.
The 3-stage print process is more difficult than conventional methods.
For instance, it’s more expensive to make metal prosthetics than to make plastic prosthetics.
In addition, 3D printers often require specialized equipment and tools.
For the prosthetics, the team is building a robotic arm for patients.
The team says the arm could be used to operate prosthetic limbs in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities.
“These prosthetics could be an important part of the rehabilitation and rehabilitation care for individuals who are injured during a traumatic event, such as a car crash, stroke, or heart attack,” said M.T. Bader, a research scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and lead author of the paper.
“The robotic arm is also a potential tool to aid in surgical procedures and rehabilitation of people who have suffered a stroke or heart disease.”
The 3D Printed 2-D Robot with a CatheterSource: MIT article A robot could revolutionizing healthcareThe prosthetic would have to be durable, able to withstand heat and pressure, and be able to stay attached.
“This is a very, very challenging engineering challenge,” said Tannensbaum.
The group is currently working with the Johns Allen Medical School to design the prosthetically made arm.
“We’ve been working on the 3DP printed prosthesis, but it is still very much a research project, and we’re hoping to come out with the first printed prosthetic this fall,” Tannenberg said.
The prosthesis is being built using an additive process that requires more precise, controlled machining.
For example, 3DP printing the prosthet is much more challenging than using traditional tools, according the researchers.
The machine can print the structure on a metal, and that metal can be extruded into a 3mm layer.
The extruded layer can then later be printed into a 2mm layer, and finally into the final, 3mm-thick metal prosthetic.
This method of 3DP manufacturing is more efficient than other 3-step processes, the group said.
3DP printers also require more precise machining and the