Topic

Printing on/in the Body: The Revolutionary Medical Applications of 3D Printing Technology


Description


3D printing technology is versatile by nature, and will presumably alter the future of consumer goods as it gets adopted. Perhaps the most invaluable applications of 3D printing technologies will be in the biomedical sciences, where customization and precision are vital for the assurance of safety. 3D printing has the potential to drastically redefine the way medicine is practiced, creating opportunities never before possible for doctors to study, examine, and treat a host of ailments. From prosthetics to organ transplants, 3D printing will allow for more precise and highly personalized medical practices.

If a person were making a toy using 3D printing, a manufacturer loads a substance, usually plastic, into a mini-fridge-sized machine. He also loads a 3-D design of the toy he wants to make. When he tells the machine to print, it heats up and, using the design as a set of instructions, extrudes a layer of melted plastic through a nozzle onto a platform. As the plastic cools, it begins to solidify, although by itself, it's nothing more than a single slice of the desired object. The platform then moves downward so a second layer can be deposited on the first. The printer repeats this process until it forms a solid object in the shape of the toy. Right now people are experimenting using bio-materials to produce fully functioning human parts such as livers, kidneys, ears, blood vessels, skin and bones. But printing a 3-D version of a toy isn't exactly the same as printing a heart that expands and contracts like real cardiac muscle. Cut through an action figure, and you'll find plastic through and through. Cut through a human heart, and you'll find a complex matrix of cells and tissues, all of which must be arranged properly for the organ to function. For this reason, bioprinting is developing more slowly than other additive manufacturing techniques, but it is advancing. Researchers have already built modified 3-D printers and are now perfecting the processes that will allow them to print tissues and organs for pharmaceutical testing and, ultimately, for transplantation.


Applications


3D printing technology is fairy new, thus the future is bright for the amount of impact it will have on the medical community. There are many promising uses for a 3D printer in medicine. One is the ability to create enough supply organs to meet the demand currently faced and seen on organ donor lists. Another is the capability to create medically enhanced fake skin via 3D printing to provide to victims of burns or skin disease. Fake limbs and prostheses already exist today, but with the 3D printer, the fake limbs will be more able to resemble the real body parts. Furthermore, 3D printing can even predict heart attacks and treat some cardiac ailments using printed electrical components. With this new technology on the horizon, there will be many ways to cure, solve, or aid those in medical need.

3d Printing can be used on the home-scale for medical issues. In the future, at the most basic level people can print out missing teeth, or a false eye even. It important to know however, the economic feasibility of this is not reasonable in the present, or the near future, and major strides in reducing the manufacturing cost and efficiency of these machines will need to happen.
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Current Issues

  • The FDA must approve human trials for organ transplants and it may take a decade or more to do so.
  • Bioengineers need to ensure that the patient's body will not reject the transplant. Immunosuppressive drugs are an option as with traditional organ transplants, but are less than ideal. Another option with bioengineered organs would be to use the patient's own cells to make them.
  • To make functional organs via 3D printing and other bioengineering approaches will be very labor intensive and expensive. The first true engineered organs may cost millions of dollars each. At the same time serious organ disease and organ failure cost billions if not trillions of dollars in healthcare costs and untold suffering.



Chart for Private and Commercial printers from Reddit

Name
Type
Print X (in.)
Print Y (in.)
Print Z (in.) (height)
Total Print Volume (in.3)
Price w/ shipping if listed
Price/Print Volume (USD/in3)
Other features/issues
Link:
Resolution
Afinia H-Series
Assembled
5.5
5.5
5.25
158.81
$1,599.00
$10.07
OEM software, heated bed
http://www.afinia.com/3d-printers

Deezmaker Bukobot
Kit
8
8
8
512
$1,299.00
$2.53
Open source, Marlin on Azteeg controller
http://deezmaker.com/store/

FlashForge Creator
Assembled
8.85
5.7
5.9
297.63
$1,199.00
$4.03
Open source, heated bed, wood frame partially enclosed dual extruder
http://www.amazon.com/FlashForge-printer-dual-extruder-spools/dp/B008CM2TCU

Lulzbot TAZ 3
Assembled
11.7
10.8
9.8
1,238.33
$2,195.00
$1.77
Open source, heated bed, able to print without direct PC connection
http://www.lulzbot.com/?q=products/lulzbot-taz-3-3d-printer

Makerbot replicator 2
Assembled
11.2
6
6.1
409.92
$1,999.00
$4.88
OEM software, acrylic build plate warps partially enclosed
http://store.makerbot.com/replicator2

Makerbot Replicator 2X
Assembled
9.8
6.3
5.9
364.27
$2,799.00
$6.86
OEM software, dual extrusion, heated aluminum build plate, fully enclosed
http://store.makerbot.com/replicator2x

Makerfarm Prusa 6" i3 Kit
Kit
6
6
5.5
198
$495.00
$2.50
Open source, heated bed, wood frame, additional power supply and build surface required.
http://www.makerfarm.com/index.php/3d-printer-kits/prusa-i3-kit.html

Makerfarm Prusa 8" i3 Kit
Kit
8
8
7.25
464
$590.00
$1.27
Open source, heated bed, wood frame, additional power supply and build surface required.
http://www.makerfarm.com/index.php/3d-printer-kits/prusa-8-i3-kit.html

Makergear M2
Assembled
8
10
8
640
$1,775.00
$2.77
Open source, heated bed, Metal frame
http://www.makergear.com/products/m-series-3d-printers

Mendel90 Complete Kit
Kit
7.87
7.87
7.87
488.19
$797.58(£499.00)
$1.63
Open Source, heated bed, glass build plate, dibond frame
http://hydraraptor.blogspot.com/2013/10/mendel90-design-improvements.html http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?94,196585

MendelMax 2.0 Standard Kit
Kit
9.05
12.20
8.86
981.54
$1,595.00
$1.62
Open Source, heated bed, aluminum build plate, aluminum frame
http://store.makerstoolworks.com/printer-kits/mendelmax-2-0-standard-kit/

MendelMax 2.0 Fully Assembled
Assembled
9.05
12.20
8.86
981.54
$2,195.00
$2.24
Open Source, heated bed, aluminum build plate, aluminum frame
http://www.makerstoolworks.com/products/mendelmax-2-0/

ORION Delta 3D Printer
Assembled
6
6
9
324
$1,499.00
$4.63
Open source, heated bed, Metal frame
http://seemecnc.com/collections/3d-printers/products/orion-delta-3d-printer

Printrbot Jr. (v2)
Assembled
5.9
5.9
5.9
205.38
$699.00
$3.40
Open source, heated bed, aluminum build plate, wood frame.
http://printrbot.com/shop/assembled-printrbor-jr-v2/

Printrbot Jr. v2 KIT
Kit
5.9
5.9
5.9
205.38
$599.00
$2.92
Open source, heated bed, aluminum build plate, wood frame.
http://printrbot.com/shop/jr-v2-kit/

Printrbot PLUS (v2.1)
Assembled
8
8
8
512
$999.00
$1.95
Open source, heated bed, aluminum build plate, wood frame.
http://printrbot.com/shop/assembled-printrbot-plus/

Printrbot Plus v2.1 KIT
Kit
8
8
8
512
$899.00
$1.76
Open source, heated bed, aluminum build plate, wood frame.
http://printrbot.com/shop/plus-v2-1-kit/

Printrbot simple assembled
Assembled
4
4
4
64
$399.00
$6.23
Open source, uses nylon twine instead of timing belts, wood print surface prone to splinters and warping
http://printrbot.com/shop/assembled-printrbot-simple/

Printrbot simple Kit
Kit
4
4
4
64
$299.00
$4.67
Open source, uses nylon twine instead of timing belts, wood print surface prone to splinters and warping
http://printrbot.com/shop/printrbot-simple/

Printrbot simple Kit + XL upgrade kit
Kit
7.28
4
6.49
188.99
$399.00
$2.11
Open source, uses nylon twine instead of timing belts, wood print surface prone to splinters and warping
http://printrbot.com/shop/printrbot-simple-xl-upgrade-kit/

Rostock MAX Complete Kit
Kit
11
11
14.75
1,784.75
$999.00
$0.56
Open source, heated bed, Metal frame
http://seemecnc.com/collections/3d-printers/products/rostock-max-complete-kit

Solidoodle 2nd Generation - Expert
Assembled
6
6
6
216
$698.00
$3.23
Open source, heated bed, aluminum frame, enclosed.
http://store.solidoodle.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=131

Solidoodle 2nd Generation - Pro
Assembled
6
6
6
216
$599.00
$2.77
Open source, heated bed, aluminum frame.
http://store.solidoodle.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=56

Solidoodle 3D Printer, 3rd Generation
Assembled
8
8
8
512
$799.00
$1.56
Open source, heated bed, aluminum frame.
http://store.solidoodle.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=79

Solidoodle 3D Printer, 4th Generation
Assembled
8
8
8
512
$999.00
$1.95
Open source, heated bed, aluminum frame, enclosed.
http://store.solidoodle.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=129

Type A Series 1
Assembled
12
12
12
1728
$2,295
$1.32
Open source, heated bed, Metal frame
http://www.typeamachines.com/collections/3d-printers/products/next-generation-series1-3dprinter

Tricolor Mendel
Kit
8.26
7.48
5.51
340.43
$1,088.80
$3.20
Open source, heated bed, Metal frame triple extruder
http://www.reprappro.com/products/tricolour-mendel/

Ultimaker 2
Assembled
9.05
8.85
8.07
646.35
$2,602.97
$4.03
Open source, enclosed, heated bed.
https://www.ultimaker.com/products/ultimaker-2

Up plus 2
Assembled
5.5
5.5
5.3
160.33
$1,814.00
$11.31
OEM software, heated bed
http://www.pp3dp.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=10&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=37

UP! Mini
Assembled
4.75
4.75
4.75
107.17
$1,064.00
$9.93
OEM software, heated bed, enclosed
http://www.pp3dp.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=6&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=37

Velleman k8200
Kit
7.87
7.87
7.87
487.44
$799
$1.64
Open source, heated bed, Metal frame
http://www.vellemanusa.com/shops/?f_State=65&f_Country=58&lang=en&country=us












Portabee Kit
Kit
4.7
4.7
4.7
105.4
$495
$4.70
Open source, heated bed, complete DIY kit
http://portabee3dprinter.com/shop/portabee-3d-printer-complete-kit-uassembled/












Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/wiki/printerchart

Related Links




For general industry news and comprehensive, up-to-date articles
http://3dprintingindustry.com/medical/

Trends in 3d printing in the medical field according to EnvisionTec
http://envisiontec.com/trends-in-3d-printing-of-customized-medical-devices/

Expectations for the first 3d printed organ in 2014
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9244884/The_first_3D_printed_organ_a_liver_is_expected_in_2014

Possibilities with 3D Printing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0EJmBoLq-g

How 3D printing body parts will revolutionize medicine:
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-07/how-3-d-printing-body-parts-will-revolutionize-medicine

3d Printing blood Vessels:
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525161/artificial-organs-may-finally-get-a-blood-supply/

Heart Implants 3D Printed
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525221/heart-implants-3-d-printed-to-order/