3D printing impact on human life

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/meet-3-kids-alive-today-thanks-to-a-3d-printer/

kaiba-heart-kid-620x750-90746.jpg

Meet 3 kids alive today thanks to a 3D printer

A 3D printer saved the lives of three baby boys with the same life-threatening condition, their doctors report in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Kaiba Gionfriddo was six weeks old when he turned blue because his lungs weren’t getting enough oxygen. He was diagnosed with a terminal form of tracheobronchomalacia, a medical condition that causes the windpipe to periodically collapse and prevents normal breathing. With no cure and a low life expectancy, doctors told his mother April he may not make it out of the hospital alive.

Kaiba was one of the three babies who became the first in the world to receive 3D-printed devices that helped keep their airways open so they could breathe properly, thus saving their lives. “These cases broke new ground for us because we were able to use 3D printing to design a device that successfully restored patients’ breathing through a procedure that had never been done before,” Glenn Green, MD, an associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, said in a statement.

Tracheobronchomalacia affects about 1 in 2,000 children around the world, according to the doctors, and renders them unable to fully exhale. Using a 3D printer, Green and his colleagues were able to create and implant a customized splint around the airways of the three boys to expand the trachea and bronchus. This 3D printed device is made to change shape over time as the children grow, and eventually be reabsorbed by the body as the condition is cured.

The findings in the report suggest that this early intervention may prevent complications of conventional treatment of tracheobronchomalacia such as a tracheostomy, prolonged hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, cardiac and respiratory arrest, food malabsorption and discomfort.

Kaiba was the first to receive the implant three years ago and his doctors report that the splint has degraded and he appears to be disease-free. “Before this procedure, babies with severe tracheobronchomalacia had little chance of surviving,” Green said. “Today, our first patient Kaiba is an active, healthy 3-year-old in preschool with a bright future. The device worked better than we could have ever imagined.”

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Two other children have also had success with the device.

Garrett Peterson received one a the age of 16 months. Garrett spent the first year of his life in hospital beds tethered to a ventilator, being fed through his veins because his body was too sick to absorb food.

Since receiving the device, he has not shown signs of any complications and is leading a normal life, able to breathe properly, doctors say.

Ian Orbich’s condition was so grave that his heart stopped before he was even six months old. He received a customized 3D-printed splint and is now doing well at the age of 17 months.

Green and his colleagues received emergency clearance from the FDA to do the procedures. While these three cases appear to be a huge success, the doctors noted that this technology will take time to put into widespread practice. “The potential of 3D-printed medical devices to improve outcomes for patients is clear, but we need more data to implement this procedure in medical practice,” Green said. The authors also acknowledge that potential complications of the procedure may not yet be evident.

Yet if you ask Kaiba’s mom, April Gionfriddo, the procedure was nothing short of a miracle. “The first time he was hospitalized, doctors told us he may not make it out,” she said in a statement. “It was scary knowing he was the first child to ever have this procedure, but it was our only choice and it saved his life.”

cbsnews.com

by ASHLEY WELCH, CBS NEWS | April 29, 2015, 2:05 PM

3D printing use to help teach blind girl

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150417-father-uses-3d-printing-to-help-teach-his-blind-daughter-math.html

Father uses 3D printing to help teach his blind daughter math

While 3D printing technology has been steadily cementing its reputation as an excellent tool for help the disabled and people suffering from unusual medical conditions, one family from San Diego proves that we shouldn’t forget about the blind either. For one of Jason and Dori Walker’s daughters, Layla, is blind but is using 3D printed objects to ensure she doesn’t fall behind in school.

As father Jason explained in a brief documentary, he and his wife are raising a loving family with five children, of which three have been adopted. ‘When we started having kids and got married, we had two kids and lost a third one. We decided at that point to just adopt. My wife found these kids on a video on the Huffington Post. They were a set of three children, thirteen, ten and seven. They were looking for a forever home,’ he says.

This story already has everything to warm your heart, but unfortunately the eldest of the three, Layla, was born blind. The girl, who is currently in the eighth grade, was facing tremendous difficulties due to her blindness. Education, after all, is completely geared towards sight and while plenty of braille alternatives have fortunately been made already, lots of basic concepts in math, for instance, are very difficult to grasp when blind.

Father Jason, fortunately, happened to already have a ROBO 3D printer at home, which he quickly turned into an educational machine that turns intangible concepts such as fractures into tangible objects. ‘Layla’s predominant sense that she uses to see and learn the world is touch,’ mother Dori explains, so the parents set out to 3D print objects for their daughter. As Layla liked busses at the time, Jason first 3D printed a bus on his ROBO 3D printer to enable her to understand the concept of turning thoughts into objects. ‘I thought my dad bought it at the store. I asked for a bus and then a few hours later I could touch it,’ Layla said about that first print.

But it has since proven especially useful for understanding fractures, which teachers found difficult to explain to a blind person. As no simple teaching alternatives for the blind existed, Jason just decided to make one himself. ‘I started 3D printing pieces of pie and take them down to her and explain that this is a third and this is a sixth. Because in her mind, she thought that a sixth was bigger than a third because the number is bigger,’ Jason says. Helping his daughter feel and experience objects, just as you would draw a pizza for other struggling children, really helped. ‘I see with my hands so some ideas are hard, fractions are cool. And then geography was easier once I could feel the earth,’ Kayla said of these objects.

References:

3ders.org

by Alec | Apr. 17, 2015

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150417-father-uses-3d-printing-to-help-teach-his-blind-daughter-math.html

New face for a girl thanks of 3D printing

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/3d-printing-helps-give-girl-a-new-face-1.3014957

Violet Pietrok, playing with her father Matt, was born two years ago with a Tessier cleft, a rare deformity in which the bones that form the face have not fused properly. Thanks to 3D printing of models of her skull, Violet has begun a series of surgeries to correct the problem.

3D printing helps give girl a new face

Doctors practise on an exact image of face before repairing deformity.

The great thing about medical school cadavers is that they can’t die.

If a surgeon in training makes a mistake, there’s always next time. It is the last environment where medical errors have no consequences.

But 3D printing is changing that, giving even experienced operating room teams valuable practice on a model that looks and feels like the real thing. It has life-saving and life-altering implications.

Violet Pietrok was born two years ago with a rare deformity called a Tessier cleft. The bones that normally join to form the fetal face had not fused properly.

  • Watch David Common’s full story on The National Sunday April 5 at 9 p.m.

As a result, Violet’s eyes were set so far apart, her vision was more like a bird’s than a human’s. She also had no cartilage in her nose.

But the corrective operation is extraordinarily complex. So Violet’s family turned to one of the world’s leading reconstructive surgeons, Dr. John Meara, at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Violet Pietrok

He warned them of the danger of making sophisticated cuts through the skull, very close to the optic nerve. “They might be very close to the brain,” Meara explained in an interview. “So the ability to make these cuts on the model first and see the trajectory of a sawblade or where that cut would come through in relationship to the eye is absolutely critical.”

To get that model, the simulation team at Boston Children’s took multiple MRIs of Violet’s skull and replicated it on a 3D printer.

It took more than a day to print, but the model is exact. Even the density of the bone is precise.

 “We were actually able to do the procedure before going into the operating room,” Meara said.

“So we made the cuts in the model, made the bony movements that we would be making in Violet’s case and we identified some issues that we modified prior to going into the operating room, which saves time and means that you’re not making some of these critical decisions in the operating room.”

During the surgery earlier this year, Meara kept a model of Violet’s skull close by and referred to it as he went through the complicated steps of the operation. This successful surgery was just the first of several that will be needed to remake Violet’s face.

Other hospitals are interested

Boston’s success has prompted a lot of calls from hospitals around the world looking to set up their own 3D printing simulations to Dr. PeterWeinstock, who runs the Boston program.

He equates medicine with sports teams. Any team worth its salt, he says, practises before the game.

“We looked at that and thought, why is health care not doing that?  If you can see the patient before you see the patient, if you can do the operation before you do the operation, you have the opportunity to tailor your approach, to tailor your team to the specific environment and event. Think about that opportunity.”

Weinstock’s printer now runs 24/7 preparing for procedures at Boston Children’s — well worth the $400,000 investment.

The models are game-changing — giving a whole new meaning to personalized medicine. With each new print, the models are getting more sophisticated. Soon, the replicated veins and arteries will bleed as they would in real-life.

Boston Children’s has also found better recovery times. Patients of surgeons who’ve practised on the models typically leave hospital sooner and get back on their feet more easily.

Weinstock’s simulation program really took off a few years ago with Surgical Sam, the world’s first operable infant mannequin.

A model of an individual

But Weinstock wanted not just a model of generic human but one of a specific person.

That’s also what Adam Stedman needed. Adam was born witharteriovenous malformation or AVM, a tangled mess of arteries and veins in the brain that restricts blood flow and prompts progressively worse seizures that can cause brain damage.

He could have had a stroke at any moment, or a hemorrhage, his mother Amy tearily explained. But surgically tackling the web of tubes inside Adam’s brain was also potentially deadly, or it could leave him blind.

The 3D printer re-created Adam’s brain — including the AVM — something his surgeon could hold, manipulate, examine, re-examine and ultimately, practice on.

The surgery was a success — taking only a third of the expected time because the entire operating room team had done it before just hours earlier on the practice model.

When Adam came out of the OR, he smiled and his mother broke down. “He just has a blind spot,” she said in an interview in her Connecticut home. To her, that’s a big improvement.

“I honestly think that the 3D printing has the majority to do with that, as far as where they knew, where to cut and where not to.”

cbc.ca

by David Common, CBC News | Apr 04, 2015 5:00 AM ET

3D printing and economic impact

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-01/3d-printing-impact-bigger-than-internet-expert-says/6365296

3D printed jet engine

3D printing will have a bigger economic impact than the internet, technology specialist says

Manufacturing industries need to embrace 3D printing, which will have an even bigger impact on economies and society than the internet, an Australian technology specialist says.

Steve Sammartino is a digital entrepreneur and venture capitalist who advises business on how to adjust to disruptive technologies and the digital revolution.

While most of us have heard about 3D printing and its potential to improve medical treatments and manufacturing processes, Mr Sammartino says 3D printing will be far more than a niche tool.

He says it will transform everything about the way we live within a matter of years.

Speaking to The World Today, Mr Sammartino said 3D printing represented an extraordinary technological shift.

“The first time I saw it, it blew my mind as well because to see actually something physically get made layer upon layer in front of you is quite astounding. I think that 3D printing will be even greater than the information revolution because it democratises manufacturing for the first time.

“We’re going to see desktop manufacturing in the same way that we saw desktop publishing and information transfer and so we can actually transfer physical products to other people who can print it at the other end, just like we would send an email or send a video.”

But while that may be good for individuals, it will be hugely disruptive for industry, and Mr Sammartino said business leaders could not afford to ignore it.

“I think you need to embrace it. Like we’ve seen with the social web, the companies that moved quickly to embrace the new tools and collaborate with their audience have been the major beneficiaries.

“In fact, the idea of making and selling items is not nearly as important as the idea of providing platforms and collaborating with your end consumers.

“So trying to fight the tide is kind of like — it’s not a strategy that’s effective for the manufacturing industry.

“The best thing they can do is work out how to use it as a platform and collaborate and get faster and quicker innovation by working with their customers and their supply chains rather than trying to fight the tide of the things that they used to make.

“Because we’ve seen with the social and informational web that’s a strategy which simply doesn’t work.”

‘It will change everything we do’

Mr Sammartino said even businesses that did not manufacture anything needed to pay attention to the technology.

“It’s just a little bit like the internet. When it arrived we thought, ‘Oh, that may be interesting for media’, but as we’ve seen it’s transformed every type of business no matter what industry.

An ear is fabricated with a 3D printer in a laboratory at Cornell University.

“The internet is an important part of our business, and 3D printing, while we can’t see exactly how that might manifest itself, there’s no doubt that it’ll change everything we do from just simple operations and the spaces we work in and in unforeseeable ways it’ll impact, I think, most businesses.

“Even the way our homes are furnished will change and the type of things that we print at home. It’ll even have an impact on our foods — we’ll be 3D printing food. Smart brands will be selling components.

“Just like the ink jet printers get sold, you might have a chocolate company selling you the ingredients that go into your 3D printing machine to print things exactly the way that you want.”

But making 3D printing more accessible will come with risks, Mr Sammartino said.

“One of the unforeseeable externalities is that I think that we have already seen 3D printed guns and one of the problems with those is that when they get used there’s no safety concerns in the manufacturing process,” he said.

“Is there a duty of care of the person sending the file or is the duty of care with the printing manufacturer or is the duty of care with the software designer that designed or scanned the file?”

He said it was an issue that needed to be considered by the Government.

“So you get all of these other legal issues that we’re going to need to be very speedy on from a government perspective so that we’re across it and we protect consumers.”

abc.net.au

by Sarah Sedghi and Eleanor Hall | 1 Apr 2015, 3:07pm

3D printing helped with facial defect

3D Printing Has Another Positive Impact on a Child’s Life

http://goo.gl/3GZNgy

Check out this excellent story about a little girl named Violet born with a rare defect, a Tessier facial cleft, that left a fissure in her skull, and how 3D-printing is helping doctors take on these kinds of complicated surgeries. The piece is in today’s The New York Times and written by health reporter and CommonHealth contributor Karen Weintraub, who offers a little background:

Violet Pietrok was born nearly two years ago without a nose. Her eyes were set so far apart that her mom compared her vision to a bird of prey’s. There was a gap in the skull behind her forehead.

There was no question she would need drastic surgery to lead a normal life. But few surgeons have seen patients with problems as complex as Violet’s. Her parents, Alicia Taylor and Matt Pietrok, who live near Salem, Oregon, brought her to Boston Children’s Hospital, to Dr. John Meara, who had operated before on kids with Tessier facial clefts.

As part of Children’s Pediatric Simulator Program, Meara was able to get several 3D printed models made of Violet’s skull. By handling and slicing up the models, he got a better sense of what had gone wrong and how best to fix it.

Such 3D-printing is becoming more commonplace in complex surgeries, allowing doctors views and knowledge they can’t get on their screens.

From the Times story:

Such 3-D-printed models are transforming medical care, giving surgeons new perspectives and opportunities to practice, and patients and their families a deeper understanding of complex procedures. Hospitals are also printing training tools and personalized surgical equipment. Someday, doctors hope to print replacement body parts.

“There’s no doubt that 3-D printing is going to be disruptive medicine,” said Dr. Frank J. Rybicki, chief of medical imaging at the Ottawa Hospital and chairman and professor of radiology at the University of Ottawa. He is the former director of the applied imaging science lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a few blocks from Boston Children’s.

“It makes procedures shorter, it improves your accuracy,” said Dr. Rybicki, who has used 3-D printing in his work with face transplants. “When bioprinting actually hits, it will change everything.”

For now, the printer extrudes a layer of liquid plastic instead of ink. It adds a second layer, and then another, and a skull or rib cage — or whatever the surgeon dials up — slowly emerges.

The same process can also print layers of human cells. So far, researchers have also printed blood vessels, simple organs and bits of bone.

COMMONHEALTH.WBUR.ORG
by Rachel Zimmerman | 

Tabletop gaming

Our latest blog post talks about the impact of the technology of tomorrow on the games of yesterday; tabletop gaming, revamped thanks to 3D printing!

http://malta3dprinting.blogspot.com/…/tabletop-fun-with-pri…

A bright mind and a 3D printer can go a long way. Combining aesthetics and entertainment value, 3D printed games range from chess sets and larger-than-life Rubik’s cubes to entirely new gaming universes created within a matter of days.

Effectively changing the rules of manufacturing, 3D printing will have fans of tabletop gaming stoked when they realize the scale of their favourite pastime just got a whole lot bigger. Printing already has a place in gamers’ hearts’, producing key items like dice and custom landscapes – essential for any serious tabletop gamer.

Exciting breakthrough projects like Breach, Pocket Dungeon and Pocket Tactics have invaded the market dominated by Games Workshop. According to their Thingiverse pages, some of these exciting are yet to be fully completed.

Pocket Tactics is perhaps the most famous of the bunch, and is basically the size of a small travel game – you can play it on any flat surface. Creator Arian Croft, also known as ‘Dutchmogul’, claims to have thought of the idea on a Tuesday night, and by Friday had a functioning prototype ready.

While designers like Croft are busy ping-ponging new ideas around the Ill Gotten Gamesoffice, well-established games like Warhammer 40k and Warmachine may need to look over their shoulders.

Sure, it will be difficult for small companies to pry the hands of loyal gamers away from the most popular tabletop games, but what if they bought miniatures from a different company? Some official gaming kits can cost hundreds of euros, and more.

3D printing is allowing for high-quality miniatures, and Hero Forge serves as the proof in the pudding. Their Kickstarter page reveals the length at which they’re willing to help their customers customize their favourite gaming pieces.

Ironically, the digital revolution is helping the analog world.

Customize and materialize!

Raising over $360,000 (more than triple their original target), their Kickstarter financial goal was met back in February. The appeal to gamers lies in the unprecedented level of detail one can add, with users able to choose different armour, poses, weapons, equipment and character sizes.

Moving on to a different branch of games completely, a quick look at the leading online marketplaces like Shapeways or Thingiverse will reveal the extent of the different board games, puzzles, desk toys and life-like models available.

Chess fans will feel right at home here, as the classic game has been a target of 3D technicians around the world. Since all it requires are pieces and a board to play on, the levels of customization are limitlesss.

If you fancy novelty, check out this portable Star Trek 3D chess set, or if you’re eager to take on two foes at once, this impressive three player set from Acryl should do the trick. Lord of the Rings fans will melt when they gaze upon this classic chess set with characters from Tolkien’s universe.

Our next pick is for the puzzle freaks out there. If you’re a fan of the age-old Rubik’s cube, this extra-large, fully-functional 3x4x5 cuboid will certainly catch your eye. Now being produced en masse, this nifty puzzle requires a bit of DIY assembly – requiring users to use their own springs, screws and washers.

The 3D printing gods have been kind enough to provide us with entertaining products in bountiful amounts, and for this we are very grateful. At this rate, our children of the future will be spoiled for choice!
MALTA3DPRINTING.BLOGSPOT.COM
by  | 25 September 2014

3D printing revolutionizing medicine

How is 3D printing revolutionizing medicine?

Read our latest blog post to find out!

http://malta3dprinting.blogspot.com/…/3d-printings-impact-o…

Today we’re taking a look at the promising implications 3D printing has for the medical industry.

From bones healing faster to amputees walking again, 3D printing’s healing hand is not going unnoticed. Confused about how new-age printers can help patients?

Read on and we’ll explain all about it.

The Evolution of the Plaster Cast
The Cortex Cast

2013 saw the introduction of the ‘Cortex Cast’, a stylish, ventilated 3D printable cast invented by University of Wellington graduate Jake Evill.

Built in 2 or more pieces and then adjoined, the patients’ limbs can be scanned and turned into a 3D model, allowing for an accurate fit.

Currently, printers may take hours to churn out a complete plastic cast, but we can expect this time to be reduced drastically as efficiency increases in the coming years.

This experimental product will cater to individuals varying limb sizes, and in the future can be printed on site, in a hospital or clinic. The smile on a patient’s face will serve as proof of witnessing a successful marriage between medicine and technology.

Available in various colors, printable casts will grow to symbolize 3D printing’s low-key invasion into the fashion world. Expect Malta 3D Printing to blog about this shortly!

The Osteoid

A 3D printable cast known as the ‘Osteoid’ is helping to heal bones up to 80% faster. Created by Turkish design graduate Deniz Karasahin, the cast’s plastic, aerated structure allows for an ultrasound device to be attached to it – resulting in improved treatment for patients.

Bulkiness, itchiness and discomfort associated with plaster casts will become a thing of the past thanks to the Osteoid’s lattice pattern and lightweight build.

This promising invention won the ‘A’Design Award in 3D Printed Forms and Products Design in 2013. Its full name is the ‘Osteoid Medical Cast, Attachable Bone Stimulator’, but we prefer the ‘Osteoid.’
The wires attached to the plastic frame (see picture above) allow for the healing pulse to be sent to the desired area, sending ultrasound waves at the touch of a button.

With a single 20 minute daily session, the Osteoid can potentially improve healing rates by up to 80% in non-union fractures, and up to 38% in other fractures.

The Osteoid is made out of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), a popular thermoplastic with 3D printing vendors, household goods and food containers. While it may seem like a simple design, the precise location of each air space is algorithmically calculated, and the locking mechanism (see picture below) may vary in location from case to case.

Both the aforementioned models are more expensive than present day remedies, but offer localized healing, water-resistance, and a higher standard of environmental sustainability and aesthetics.

We can only imagine a little girl with a broken hand looking up at a doctor, smiling as she tries on her cast in her favourite colour. Small details can go a long way!
Once 3D printing successfully infiltrates hospitals worldwide, expect to see a myriad of patients with casts in blue, red, yellow green and more!

3D Printable Prosthetics

According to statistics collected in 2008, there are approximately10 million people across the world living with amputations (arm, elbow, shoulder, leg, knee etc.).

Unfortunately, only a select few can even afford prosthetic limbs, as a large percentage of amputees live in developing countries.

Skeptical about 3D printing’s global influence? Well, it’s a good thing Malta 3D Printing‘s here.

Miracles are already happening throughout the 3D printing world. Patrice Johnson, using a $500,000 3D printer owned by Ex-One, began printing prosthetic arms and lending a helping hand to people in less fortunate parts of the world.
“Right on the border of Burma and Thailand, there are landmines like you wouldn’t believe,” Johnson said in an interview with The Atlantic.

Bravely venturing to Burma equipped with two 3D printed prosthetic arms, Johnson donated the artificial limbs and had the two lucky patients feeling comfortable within half an hour.

It’s not all blue skies, however, as Johnson points out that the main issue with 3D printed limbs lies in the attachment.  It must successfully connect to both soft tissue and bone without damaging either, whilst providing an adequate range of motion for the patient.

Luckily, one of 3D printing’s many strengths can solve this problem. Due to the extreme level of detail 3D scanners and printers can achieve, a full scan of a patient’s intact limb would result in a precise 3D replica – one that post-print would be expected to be an exact fit on the damaged limb.

A prime example of an artificial 3D printed limb is the ‘Jaipurknee’. Pictured in the image above, the Jaipurknee claims to be one-tenth the cost of a traditional polycentric knee joint and is built to last between 3-5 years.

With 3D printers firing on all cylinders across the globe, the number of amputees could be drastically reduced within the coming years, as people gain access to cheaper, more efficient means of limb replacement.
The team behind Malta 3D Printing have nothing but respect for these life-changing inventions.

MALTA3DPRINTING.BLOGSPOT.COM
by  | 5 July 2014