3D printing helps China’s economy

http://www.scmp.com/tech/innovation/article/1852059/3d-printing-can-help-modernise-chinas-economy-premier-li-keqiang

A 3D printed building in Shaanxi. Chinese premier Li Keqiang has called for greater investment in the technology. Photo: SCMP Pictures

3D printing can help modernise China’s economy: premier Li Keqiang

The development of 3D printing technologies must be part of a push to modernise China’s economy, the country’s premier, Li Keqiang, said during a speech to the State Council.

Echoing his “Internet Plus” doctrine, Li said a new technological revolution is at hand, and China needs to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in order to maintain competitiveness in a global rush to “reindustrialise”.

His address to the State Council focused on accelerating the development of advanced manufacturing in China, touching on technologies ranging from the internet to industrial robotics and automated machinery.

Since assuming office in 2013, Li has stressed the need for economic reform and a “new normal” growth plan at a sustainable, albeit slower, pace of development. That plan has been rocked by volatility in the stock market in recent months as well as a sharp slowdown in economic growth and flagging demand.

During the address, Li stressed the importance of marrying information technology with traditional manufacturing – a key tenet of his “Internet Plus” strategy – and pointed to 3D printing as “representative of a disruptive technology in the manufacturing industry … which has transformed traditional conceptions and methods of manufacturing.”

Li further highlighted in his address weaknesses underlying the Chinese economy, pointing to weaknesses in innovation, low ‘value-added’ production, poor quality in managerial and sales services, which are further exacerbated by resource and environmental constraints.

The premier’s statements come as Chinese firms working on 3D printing in the construction sector have announced multiple recent successes.

In July, real estate development firm Zhuoda Group assembled a 3D printed 200 square metre home in three hours, having printed the materials over 10 days at a cost of US$400-480 per square metre.

Also this year, construction firm Winsun 3D printed around a dozen 60 square metre houses in one day at a cost of US$5,000 per house. The firm is also currently partnering with the UNited Arab Emirates National Innovation Committee to 3D print an office building in Dubai.

According to Winsun, 3D printing can decrease the material cost of construction by 60 per cent, labour costs by 80 per cent and cut construction time by 70 per cent. The process can also incorporate recycled construction waste into the printing.

scmp.com

by Tim Chen | Monday, 24 August, 2015, 11:53am

 

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Full skull reconstruction via 3D printing

http://www.medicaldaily.com/chinese-girl-becomes-worlds-first-receive-full-skull-reconstruction-3d-printing-343390

Chinese Girl Becomes World’s First To Receive Full Skull Reconstruction Via 3D Printing

A 3-year-old girl in China will finally be able to lift her head from the pillow after receiving the world’s first full skull reconstruction surgery via 3D printing technology. The toddler, referred to as “Han Han,” underwent 17 hours of surgery at the Second People’s Hospital of Hunan Province in China after suffering from a rare condition that caused her head to grow four times the normal size. The procedure, translated from Chinese as “whole brain shrinking plastic surgery,” involved a full 3D reconstruction and 3D printing of a new titanium skull to reposition her brain.

“CT results showed that Han Han’s brain was filled 80 percent with water,” said Dr. Bo of the Second People’s Hospital of Hunan Province, 3Dprint.com reported. “If she was not sent to hospital for treatment, Han Han would not have survived the summer. We had to first eliminate the infection in Han Han’s head because the brain wound area was too large, and we needed to do skin graft surgery and insert a shunt to help eliminate the infection, and remove the fluid from her brain.”

She was first diagnosed with congenital hydrocephalus at the age of 6 months. This type of hydrocephalus is present at birth and can either be caused by events or influences that occur during fetal development, or genetic abnormalities, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Typically in congenital hydrocephalus, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Excessive accumulation of CSF leads to abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles. This creates potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain.

In infancy, the most notable symptom of hydrocephalus is a rapid increase in head circumference of an unusually large head size. For Han Han, the pressure of the excess fluid on the brain made her head weigh more than half her body weight, so much so she struggled to lift it from the pillow or get out of bed, the DailyMail reported. The toddler also developed medical problems, such as a thinning skull and poor blood supply. This prompted the family to take immediate action.

Chen Youzhi, Han Han’s father, was left to scramble for cash after the toddler’s mother left when she was 1 year old. Youzhi was able to collect 100,000 Chinese Yuan in donations from family and friends to meet the goal of 400,000–500,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately $64,000–$80,000) to pay for his daughter’s surgery. It was through online donations that Youzhi was able to get his daughter the life-saving surgery that would change her life.

Surgeons were able to use 3D data and a CT scanner to create models for 3D printing three titanium mesh skull implants that would together replace Han Han’s entire top portion of her skull. During the procedure, her scalp was peeled away from her skull and then attached to protective saline pads. Drainage tubes were then put in her head to slowly release the CSF. Lastly, the surgeons took the three 3D-printed titanium implants and inserted them into her head to recreate a new skull for her.

The world’s first 3D printer full skull reconstructive surgery was successfully completed once Han Han opened her eyes and was breathing before being transferred to the ICU for recovery. As she continues to grow, the titanium implants will become surrounded by her own bone, which will lead to the strengthening of the top of her skull. She is expected to make a full recovery.

3D printing has helped improve the lives of many infants like Han Han, including Gabriel Mandeville. The infant with epileptic seizures started to forget the fundamental things he was learning. Gabriel successfully underwent hemispherectomy treatment with a 3D-print brain replica to ensure his mental development and to help him become seizure-free.

The evolution of 3D printing has led the medical world to envision a new kind of future. Medical 3D printing began with devices such as hearing aids. Now there are 3D-printed implants, bone replacements, and soon human tissue. Advancements in 3D printing have helped change how people view medical illnesses.

medicaldaily.com

by  | Jul 16, 2015 02:17 PM

Separated of twins, joined at the butt thanks to 3D printing technology

http://3dprint.com/71548/conjoined-twins-butt-3d-print/

twins2

Twins, Joined at the Butt, Will be Separated Tomorrow Thanks to 3D Printing Technology

3D printing has been used to change the lives of many people over the past several years. Whether it is for lending a hand in the rapid prototyping of products, creating prosthetic hands for children with upper arm differences, or allowing surgeons to perform high risk surgeries with much more ease than ever before, the technology is certainly providing ample benefit to society.

Back in February, we reported on a complex surgery that was undertaken in Texas to separate conjoined twins. To complete the surgery, a detailed medical model was created to aid surgeons in the delicate operation. Now doctors in China are doing the same.

twins3

Tomorrow (June 9), will be a huge day for one family in China, as their beautiful newborn conjoined twin girls will be separated from each other for the first time in their lives. Born on March 17 in Nanjing County of South Fujian, China, the twins were found to be conjoined at the buttocks area. In fact, they share part of the same digestive tract and portions of their anus. Like most surgeries which involve the separation of conjoined twins, it is an extremely risky and difficult operation.

The girls have been transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, where the surgery will take place tomorrow. Surgeons opted to wait until the girls were 3 months old and weighed approximately 10kg in order to perform the risky surgery. In studies, this has been shown to be the best time to perform such an invasive procedure, as babies tend to be strong enough at this point, and their bodies are ready to heal on their own.

These twins are in good hands though, as in the past 15 years, the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University has successfully separated 7 sets of conjoined twins. On top of this, using CT scan data, the surgeons were able to create an accurate 3D printed replica of the twins which doctors were able to simulate surgery on. They have used this 3D printed model to perform a mock operation, and in the process were able to revise their “real” surgical plan to make it more efficient and safe. While it is the very first time that 3D printing was used in order to aid in the separation of twins at this hospital, the hospital has used 3D printing in the past for other surgeries.

The surgery will include the separation of the twins, as well as reconstruction of their perineums and the rectums.  Currently the twins share a little less than 1cm of the same anus. It will certainly be a difficult surgery, but with the help of 3D printing, the surgical team feels very confident.

As far as the cost of the surgery, it is very expensive, but the family got a helping hand from the “Angel Mother” charity, in the amount of 200,000 yuan (approximately $32,231).

twins1

Best of luck to these beautiful twin girls as they undergo quite an extensive surgery tomorrow. What do you think about the use of 3D printing in creating medical models for complicated surgeries like this? Discuss in the Conjoined Twins forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 8, 2015

3D printed estate set

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/03/americas/architect-3d-prints-luxury-estate/

An artists rendering of a 3D-printed estate which is set to be built by architect Adam Kushner in conjunction with 3D-printing firm D-Shape.

The luxury 3D printed estate set to be made from sand, dust and gravel

(CNN)There’s already a 3D-printed house being built in the Netherlands. In China, 3D-printed mansions are reportedly on the rise.

Now, a 3D printed estate featuring a swimming pool, jacuzzi, car port and 2,400 square foot house could be coming to a sleepy plot of land in upstate New York.

The ambitious project is being undertaken by New York City architect Adam Kushner, alongside partners including 3D-printing pioneer Enrico Dini and his D-Shape firm.

Kushner told CNN that surveying has already begun with excavation work also set to commence soon.

The swimming pool and jacuzzi are penciled in to be completed by December 2015 while construction of the house is expected to continue until the end of 2017, he says.

An artists rendering of the pool house which will be 3D printed by D-Shape.

But the project hinges on getting the giant 3D printer, which will be used to produce the digitally designed building blocks of the estate on-site, into the country.

The device is currently in Italy after it was originally being built for a project partly funded by the Italian defense agencies. Military clearance is now required before the green light is given to export the printer to the United States, Dini says.

The delay in receiving this clearance is part of the reason the project has been held up since it was first announced back in August 2014.

“We are now waiting (for) permission to borrow the printer (from the military),” Dini says. “If I had another printer I’d send it there tomorrow, but unfortunately we don’t have and must wait.”

The litmus test

Whatever the import-export issues, Kushner says he sees the estate project as a test of D-Shape’s printer technology and its distinctive method.

This practice entails collecting sand, dust and gravel on site and mixing them with a magnesium-based binding agent to produce the 3D-printed building blocks required to piece the estate together. According to literature on the D-Shape website, the material produced by the printer is “similar to marble” in its constitution.

This technique is vastly different from other 3D-printing methods, Kushner says, and enables the production of many more “sculptural forms” that simply aren’t possible with other systems.

If D-Shape can prove its technology works and is efficient for a project of this size, Kushner believes it could lead to all manner of possibilities in architecture and construction. Not only could it be faster and safer than existing construction methods, he says, it could also end up being cheaper, more streamlined and of higher quality.

A Dini 3D printer like this one will be used to construct Adam Kushner's 3D printed estate in upstate New York.

And although the 3D-printed estate is something only the very wealthiest would be able to replicate, Kushner sees D-Shape’s construction methods benefiting the less fortunate as well.

“This will serve as a way of using our project to … pave the way for more humanitarian purposes that we see as the highest and best use for our technology,” he says.

“If we can build a simple pool house, I can print thousands of refugee housings. If I can build a pool, I can print underwater reefs (which he says D-Shape has already done before) to repair bridges, piers and infrastructures.”

A technology on the rise?

Integrating progressively more advanced 3D-printing methods into the construction industry has been a topic that has generated many eye-catching headlines in recent years.

The process of contour crafting — where large 3D printers are assembled on a building site (much like what will happen on Kushner’s estate) and programmed to construct pre-designed concrete structures and their relevant sub-components — was put forward by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California as far back as 2009.

Khoshnevis told industry website 3DPrint.com earlier this year that the first printers large enough for his version of contour crafting should become available within the next two years. He added that the method could even be used to build high-rise structures within ten years.

Chinese firm WinSun seemed to take inspiration from Khoshnevis’ methods when they claimed to have 3D printed a mansion and six-story tower block in the city of Suzhou, eastern China earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, DUS Architects continue to piece together a 3D-printed house using its “KamerMaker” machine. Company co-founder Katherine De Wit described the DUS technique as being a potentially valuable tool that could be added to those already used to build homes.

An artists impression of the DUS Architects 3D printed house.

Other experts, however are more cautious about the immediate potential of 3D-printing technology in the construction industry.

In an interview with CNN in 2014, Dr. Phil Reeves, managing director of UK-based 3D-printing consultancy and research firm Econolyst, described 3D-printing a house on site like that planned by DUS as counter to existing building techniques which are already relatively efficient.

Then there are other fast-developing building methods like prefabricated construction which entails manufacturing components in a factory before transporting and rapidly piecing them together on a building site.

Chinese firm Broad Sustainable Building claimed to have used this method to piece together a 57-story skyscraper in just 19 days earlier this year.

For Kushner, however, the benefits of large-scale 3D-printing are many and will likely increase as the technology becomes more advanced.

“This is not superfluous, nor a lazy architects idyll,” he says. “I think it’s as important as the automobile was in changing the design of cities or how the printing press altered communication.”

“Why? Because it democratizes construction and architecture and puts it into everyone’s hands, just like the camera phone made everyone a photographer. Not everyone is good at it but everyone can become one.”

edition.cnn.com

3D printing a jet engine and car

http://singularityhub.com/2015/05/26/why-3d-printing-a-jet-engine-or-car-is-just-the-beginning/

Why 3D Printing a Jet Engine or Car Is Just the Beginning

The 3D printing (digital manufacturing) market has had a lot of hype over the past few years.

Most recently, it seems this technology arena has entered the “trough of disillusionment,” as 3D printing stock prices have taken a hit. But the fact remains: this exponential technology is still in its childhood and its potential for massive disruption (of manufacturing and supply chains) lies before us.

This article is about 3D printing’s vast potential — our ability to soon 3D print complex systems like jet engines, rocket engines, cars and even houses.

But first, a few facts:

  • Today, we can 3D print in some 300 different materials, ranging from titanium to chocolate.
  • We can 3D print in full color.
  • We can 3D print in mixed materials — imagine a single print that combines metals, plastics and rubbers.
  • Best of all, complexity and personalization come for free.

What Does It Mean for “Complexity to Be Free”?

Think about this: If you 3D print a solid block of titanium, or an equal-sized block with a thousand moving components inside, the time and cost of both 3D printings is almost exactly the same (the solid block is actually more expensive from a materials cost).

Complexity and personalization in the 3D printing process come for free — i.e. no additional cost and no additional time. Today, we’re finding we can 3D print things that you can’t manufacture any other way.

Let’s take a look at some of the exciting things being 3D printed now.

3D Printing Rocket Engines

SpaceX 3D printed main oxidizer valves (MOVs).

In 2014, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket with a 3D-printed Main Oxidizer Valve (MOV) body in one of the nine Merlin 1D engines (the print took less than two days —whereas a traditional castings process can take months).

Even more impressive, SpaceX is now 3D printing its SuperDraco engine chamber for the Dragon 2 capsule.

According to SpaceX, the process “resulted in an order of magnitude reduction in lead-time compared with traditional machining — the path from the initial concept to the first hotfire was just over three months.”

On a similar note, Planetary Resources Inc. (PRI) is demonstrating the 3D printing of integrated propulsion and structures of its ARKYD series of spacecraft. This technology has the potential to reduce the parts count by 100x, with an equal reduction in cost and labor.

3D Printing Jet Engines

GE recently engineers recently designed, 3D printed, and fired up this simple jet engine.

GE has just demonstrated the 3D printing of a complete, functioning jet engine (the size of a football), able to achieve 33,000 RPM.

3D printing has been used for decades to prototype parts — but now, with advances in laser technology, modeling and printing technology, GE has actually 3D printed a complete product.

Xinhua Wu, a lead researcher at Australia’s Monash University, recently explained the allure of 3D printed jet engines. Because of their complexity, she noted, manufacturing jet engine parts requires on the order of 6 to 24 months. But 3D printing reduces manufacturing time to something more like one to two weeks.

“Simple or complex, 3D printing doesn’t care,” she said. “It produces [parts] in the same time.”

3D Printing Cars

Last year, Jay Rogers from Local Motors built a 3D printed car.

Local Motors 3D printed car.

It’s made of ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fiber. As they describe, “Everything on the car that could be integrated into a single material piece has been printed. This includes the chassis/frame, exterior body, and some interior features. The mechanical components of the vehicle, like battery, motors, wiring, and suspension, are sourced from Renault’s Twizy, an electric powered city car.”

It is called “The Strati,” costs $15,000, and gets 80 kilometers range on a single charge. Today, the car takes 44 hours to print, but soon the team at Local Motors plans to cut the print process to less than 24 hours.

In the past, producing a new car with a new design was very expensive and time consuming — especially when it comes to actually designing the tooling to handle the production of the newly designed car.

With additive manufacturing, once you’ve designed the vehicle on a computer, you literally press *print*.

3D Printing Houses

WinSun 3D printed house.

In China, a company called WinSun Decoration Design Engineering 3D printed 10 full-sized houses in a single day last year. They used a quick-drying concrete mixture composed mostly of recycled construction and waste material and pulled it off at a cost of less than $5,000 per house. Instead of using, say, bricks and mortar, the system extrudes a mix of high-grade cement and glass fiber material and prints it, layer by layer.

The printers are 105 feet by 33 feet each and can print almost any digital design that the clients request. The process is environmentally friendly, fast and nearly labor-free

Manufacturing Is a $10 Trillion Business Ripe for Disruption

We will continue to see advances in additive manufacturing dramatically changing how we produce the core infrastructure and machines that makes modern life possible.

singularityhub.com

by  | MAY 26, 2015

3D printing revolutionize manufacturing

An Interesting Read About the Revitalization of the Manufacturing Industry, Starting with China.

http://goo.gl/HbGOgP

3D printing ready to revolutionize manufacturing

In October, the southern Chinese city of Changsha launched an industrial park. What sets it apart from other manufacturing centres is that it is poised to play a key role in the growth of Chinese technology.

The development is China’s first hub for 3D printing technology, and was established with an immediate goal to produce 100 3D printers, and to triple the number of devices by 2016. Taking Changsha’s lead, the cities of Wuhan and Zhuhai have announced plans to develop similar industry hubs.

Other countries in the Asia-Pacific region are also focusing on this fast-growing technology.

Over the next five years, Singapore plans to invest $500 million (S$676 million) to boost skills in advanced manufacturing, focusing heavily on 3D printing.

Companies in Japan are already marketing inexpensive desktop 3D printers, while South Korean conglomerates are widely using the technology.

After decades of development, 3D printing has emerged as a viable and affordable technology, increasingly used by both the private and public sector. While problems remain, it could eventually revolutionize the manufacturing sector that many countries in Asia depend on for economic growth.

“3D printing has been around since the 1980s and has been expanding into mass production and specialised manufacturing since then,” says Maria Smith, head of law firm Baker & McKenzie’s trademarks practice in Hong Kong.

“The business is growing rapidly. In 2013, the (global) market size was estimated at $2.5 billion. It is projected to reach $16.2 billion by 2018.”

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has already been used to produce cars, buildings, guns and even artificial body parts.

“In the medical field, Chinese scientists have gone a step further, using live tissue to create organs and print ears, livers and kidneys,” adds Smith.

As it becomes increasingly accessible and affordable to consumers, the technology is making it possible for products to quickly reach the market with less labour-intensive production required.

But these benefits are also a cause for concern. As 3D printing allows for the quick and easy copying of products, it is, in turn, presenting fresh challenges for regulators that have yet to adapt to the technology and for companies seeking to protect their intellectual property rights.

Once prohibitively expensive, the technology that makes 3D printing possible has evolved substantially.

Hewlett-Packard in October introduced a 3D printing technology 10 times faster and 10 times more precise than existing technologies. The Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer is set to launch in 2016.

In November, General Electric announced its plans to invest $32 million in developing an additive manufacturing facility in the United States-a factory that operates using 3D printers.

In Asia, XYZprinting, a company backed by Taiwan’s electronic manufacturing conglomerate Kinpo Group, launched the world’s first allin-one 3D printer with built-in scanner.

The da Vinci 1.0 AiO, weighing around 20 kilograms and resembling a large microwave, is available to buy for $799 through e-commerce websites including Newegg.com and Amazon.

A 3D printer introduced in late 2014 and developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp is due to be mass-produced and available later this year.

Li & Fung, a Hong Kong-based consumer goods design, logistics and distribution company, has in recent years run a series of 3D printing initiatives. In 2013, it carried out Asia’s first in-store 3D printing retail experience at a Toys R Us outlet in Hong Kong. Li& Fung has also explored the possibility of teaming up with other companies like Samsung Electronics Co to drive the technology further.

“With nearly 30 years of development, 3D printing technology is already quite mature,” says Luo Jun, secretary-general of the World 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance.

“It has been widely used for design in creative industries and printing teeth or bones in the biomedical field,” adds Luo, who is also executive-president of the China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance. “Manufacturing and the aerospace industry use it to print complex moldings and components, or customised buildings.”

Paul Shao, CEO of Trustworthy (Beijing) Technology, a 3D printer company that distributes systems developed by brands including 3Shape and Roland, says the region is quickly finding its way with 3D technology.

“In Asia, the markets in Japan, China and South Korea are more mature in terms of 3D printing, but we can see many regions like Southeast Asia and central Asia are joining the game in trading and applications,” Shao says.

A country’s 3D printing capacity is closely linked with its competitiveness in traditional manufacturing, he adds.

“Compared with the US, Europe and Japan, China is still at an infant stage in terms of innovative design, precision processing and economic power. We have much space to grow in many key technology areas such as laser and materials. But we are getting closer and closer,” says Shao.

The evolution of supply chains is also driving the development of 3D printing. More brands are using just-in-time supply chains that make good use of the technology, getting products manufactured more quickly and into the hands of consumers.

In other regional markets, many of which rely on labour-intensive manufacturing for economic growth, the technology is less mature. Examples are Thailand and Malaysia, two middle-income countries moving up the value chain.

Thailand imports all of its 3D printers from the US, Canada or Germany because it lacks the technology to make its own, despite being a prodigious supplier of microchips.

But as Luo points out, the use of 3D technology in the region is likely to gather more pace.

“3D printing technology has been growing fast in China with more than 100 companies involved in industry, biomedicine, creative (industries), architecture, materials and software. China’s 3D printing market has seen more than 40 per cent growth for two consecutive years,” says Luo.

China’s Ministry of Science and Technology has included 3D printing technology in the National High-Tech Research and Development Program, which sponsors research in key high-technology fields. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or MIIT, is accelerating the process to launch support policies.

“The Ministry of Education is planning to bring 3D printers into schools,” Luo adds.

In September, MIIT announced it was working on a plan to promote the industry.

“We will see greater usage of 3D printing with increased affordability encouraged through government initiatives,” says Andy Leck, managing principal and head of the IP practice at Wong & Leow, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie in Singapore.

“Key examples of these initiatives include the Singapore government’s Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme and the investment of $500 million over five years as part of the government’s Future of Manufacturing programme,” he says.

All this attention, however, may be creating a bubble. After a boom in raising capital through 2013, many 3D printer manufacturers have performed badly, particularly in terms of their stock price.

The share prices of some major 3D printer producers have dropped significantly over the past year. US-based ExOne fell from $66 in January to $21 in November, Stratasys slid from $134 to $105 and 3D Systems plunged from $96 to $36. In the same period, Germany’s Voxeljet dropped from $47 to $12.

A number of linked companies listed in China’s A-share market, such as those involved in robotics, have not performed well, either.

One exception is Guangdong-based polymer materials company Silver Age, which saw its value grow from 6.16 billion yuan ($994 million) in January to 17.45 billion yuan in November.

And if IP issues and fears of a bubble are not enough of a concern, the industry in Asia still faces a couple of other challenges including the high cost of materials and a dependence on imports. Another hurdle is the lack of a mature business model for companies in the sector.

References:

3D printed surgical guides

When a tragic and sudden medical condition left Yang Xue-Bin wheelchair-bound within a matter of weeks, Chinese medical professionals stepped in. With a great helping hand from 3D printing, they successfully operated Xue-Bin, who has already checked out of hospital and claims to be well on the road to recovery 🙂

http://3dprint.com/22555/3d-printed-surgical-guides/

stenosis-cedars-sinai-edu

We have seen many tremendous breakthroughs within the medical field recently, thanks in a large part to 3D printing technology. There are tremendous benefits of using this up-and-coming means of production to aid in more advanced surgeries, that previously may not have been possible.

For one 40-year-old Chinese man, named Yang Xue-bin, 3D printing literally gave him his legs and his life back, after being diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis, a debilitating medical condition that quickly unleashed its wrath on Xue-bin, leaving him unable to walk in just a matter of days.

For those unfamiliar with the condition, cervical spinal stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal, which causes restriction of the canal, and ultimately results in numbness, pain, and in many cases, loss of motor control. For Yang Xue-bin, the symptoms came on quickly and hit extremely hard. He had no idea that he was suffering from this condition until September 23, when he began noticing that his legs were going numb. Then he realized that he was having a very difficult time walking, before ultimately needing a wheelchair to get around. This all happened in a matter of weeks, as Xue-bin was quickly diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis.

stenosis2

“I feel that my life was going to be end up with me sitting in the wheelchair,” explained Xue-bin, in talking about how he felt prior to the surgery.

The blood flow in Xue-bin’s spinal cord was greatly disrupted, and the root of the nerves were being severely compressed. “Due to the compression of the nerves, he suffered the symptoms [of] not being able to move his legs,” explained Liu Hao, the deputy director of the Department of Orthopedics at West China Hospital of Sichuan University. “Cervical posterior single open-door laminoplasty is the classical operation method for the treatment of cervical spinal canal stenosis. The key to successfully conducting the operation is about accurately determining the slot position for the lamina. Luckily, thanks for the 3D printed guide, the operation turned out efficient and successful.”

stenosis-umm-edu

This is the first time that we are aware of a case in which 3D printing technology has been used for the treatment of cervical spinal stenosis. In Xue-bin’s surgery, surgeons had to use various drilling and grinding tools to operate on the cervical vertebra lamina area, and cut two slots.  Before the surgery, they needed to determine the exact slot position that would be cut in the lamina. If they did not do this correctly it could have led to permanent damage to Xue-bin’s spinal cord.

To make sure the surgeons were completely prepared for this complicated procedure, the team 3D printed surgical guides using a CT scanner to reconstruct a model of Xue-bin’s spine. This data was then converted into 3D printable files, and a 3D printed guide plate was created. This plate was placed in the surgical area during the operation, and allowed surgeons to accurately and precisely place slots in the lamina, using holes already on the 3D printed guide plate.

“In the past, this kind of operation required doctors with more than 10 years of surgery experience in the department of orthopedics,” Liu Hao explained. “With 3D printing technology to assist the work, doctors with 3 to 5 years of experience can perform the operation successfully.”

stenosis1

We are happy to say that Xue-bin’s surgery was successful and he has checked out of the hospital and is doing fine. It if weren’t for 3D printing, his surgery may not have gone so well. What do you think about this use of 3D printing in this spine surgery performed in China? Discuss in the Cervical Spinal Stenosis forumthread on 3DPB.com

3DPRINT.COM
by  | NOVEMBER 2, 2014

3D printed 10 detached single-storey houses in 24 hours!

3D printing a house has become SO last week in China!

Now a Chinese company has created a giant 3D printer that 3D prints ten houses. IN 24 HOURS!

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-27156775

3D printed house

A company in China has used giant 3D printers to make 10 full-sized, detached single-storey houses in a day, it appears.

A private firm, WinSun, used four 10m x 6.6m printers to spray a mixture of cement and construction waste to build the walls, layer by layer, official Xinhua news agency reported.

The cheap materials used during the printing process and the lack of manual labour means that each house can be printed for under $5,000, the 3dprinterplans website says.

“We can print buildings to any digital design our customers bring us. It’s fast and cheap,” says WinSun chief executive Ma Yihe. He also hopes his printers can be used to build skyscrapers in the future. At the moment, however, Chinese construction regulations do not allow multi-storey 3D-printed houses, Xinhua says.

The method of 3D printing has become more widely used in recent years. Manufacturers and designers have been able to make everyday items such as jewellery and furniture, as well as more specialised objects like industrial components.

3D printed house

References:

3D printing – further progress in medicine

Another good deed achieved through 3D printing!

http://www.nydailynews.com/…/chinese-doctors-3d-printing-re…

CHNOUT

A 46-year-old farmer identified only as Hu suffered a head injured when he fell from the third floor of a building. Doctors recently rebuilt the missing section of his skull with titanium mesh produced by a 3D printer.

They will rebuild him: a staff member at a hospital in Xi’ an, Shaanxi province, displays the titanium mesh produced by a 3D printer prior to the man’s surgery.

A Chinese man recently underwent a potentially life-changing operation thanks to something created by a 3D printer.

Doctors at a hospital in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, used a 3D-printed titanium mesh implant to rebuild a section of Hu’s skull.

The 46-year-old farmer suffered a head injury in October when he fell from the third floor of a building, according to local media. A large portion of his skull was crushed and needed to be removed.

Since the accident, Hu has also had trouble with his vision and speech.

Doctors said they hoped the titanium mesh would help recreate the original shape of his skull and reduce surgery trauma.

NYDAILYNEWS.COM
by  | August 29, 2014, 5:11 PM

3D printed wax replica of yourself

Need to a 3D print a life-size anatomically-correct wax replica of yourself? China’s got you covered 🙂

http://3dprint.com/8615/life-sized-wax-3d-print/

wax-feat

We have covered several companies which have been offering services where they 3D print small figures in the likeness of people, which are modeled after 3D scans, or even pictures taken with a smartphone camera. From bobblehead dolls, to large 3D models resembling a particular person, there is certainly no lack of choices available to consumers. Most of these 3D printed figures range in size from a couple of inches tall to about 18 inches in height, giving consumers many options which they can decide upon, based on their budgets.

As the 3D printing space becomes ever more popular, the novelty of such services may eventually wear off, unless of course there is continued innovation.  One company, based in China, called Qingdao Unique Products Develop Co. Ltd, is doing just that by offering life-sized 1:1 wax 3D prints of people.

Surely you have all seen the amazing work done on wax figures at the Madame Tussauds museum. These figures take months on end to create by hand, and cost more money than most people could ever hope to afford. In addition, hundreds, if not thousands of individual measurements need to be taken and calculated to ensure an anatomically precise model is created. This may not be the case for much longer though.

Qingdao Unique Products Develop Co., Ltd’s Anyprint brand has created a 3D printer, unlike any other, which they will be making available to businesses worldwide. The printer, which was revealed last month at the Second World 3D printing technology Industry Conference and Exposition held in Qingdao, Shandong, is a staggering two meters (approximately 6’6″) in height, allowing it to print 1:1 accurate 3D wax models of most human beings. According to the company, this is the world’s largest wax 3D printer on the market, and it uses fused deposition modeling technology.

“The world’s largest person-size 3D wax statues printer successfully developed by Unique Technology will dramatically change the rules of future characters, cartoon dolls and other cultural and creative market,” states the company’s blog.

The exact specifications of this printer have not been released as of yet, with further details forthcoming. Qingdao Unique Products Develop Co., Ltd is headquartered in Shandong, China, and has been in business for 13 years.  They sell a variety of 3D printers, both small and large, and even custom build printers for their clients specific needs.  Let us know what you think about this new giant wax 3D printer in the 1:1: wax printer forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | JULY 9, 2014