3D printed models for kids’ operations

http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/01/boston-childrens-hospital-3d-printing/

Surgeons practice on 3D-printed models for kids’ operations

Surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital started using 3D-printed copies of patients’ affected body parts to prepare for procedures last year. Now, that move has helped save the lives of four children aged two months to 16 years old who suffered from life-threatening blood vessel malformation in their brains. Their condition gave ride to distinctive anatomies that one of the hospital’s neurosurgeon, Edward Smith, said were really tricky to operate on. So, the doctors used a combination of 3D printing and synthetic resins to conjure up copies of the kids’ deformed vessels, along with nearby normal counterparts and surrounding brain anatomy. That gave them the chance to practice extensively beforehand and reduce possible complications on the operating table.

Smith said the models allowed them to “view [the formations] from different angles, practice the operation with real instruments and get tactile feedback.” It was especially beneficial for three of the four patients, as they had arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) — their arteries and veins were all tangled up – that required the surgeons to cut blood vessels as quickly as possible, and in a certain sequence. Thanks to their preparations, the surgeons managed to fix the kids’ distorted blood vessels and cut surgery time by 30 minutes each. Smith and his colleague Darren Orbach now plan to use 3D printing to train younger doctors and for even trickier cases in the future.

engadget.com

by Mariella Moon | August 1st 2015 At 3:33am

First 3D printed battery

http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/15/rocket-lab-rutherford-engine/

Startup launches first 3D printed battery – powered rocket (update)

Rocket Lab is a Lockheed Martin-funded startup that dreams of taking small satellites to space for an affordable price — but it wants to do so using technology quite different than usual. See, the company has revealed that its engine called the “Rutherford” is (1) composed mostly of 3D-printed parts, and (2) uses batteries instead of liquid fuel. It will be paired up with the company’s Electron launch system, and together they make up the first battery-powered rocket, or so the startup claims. Its batteries power the turbopumps that deliver propellant to the engine.*

The company says it takes merely three days to print the components of the Rutherford engine out of titanium and other alloys, using an advanced form of 3D printing called “electron beam melting.” (If those components are manufactured via traditional means, it will take up to a month instead.) That means Rocket Labs’, well, rockets can be manufactured faster and will cost clients less money per launch. In fact, the startup believes it will cost only around $4.9 million to send the 65 feet x 3 feet system to space, carrying a payload that weighs up to 220 pounds. It plans to start ferrying satellites and other payloads out there in 2016.

Update: As many of you pointed out, the Rutherford-Electron rocket doesn’t use electric propulsion and still uses liquid fuel like typical rockets. We apologize for the confusion. [Thanks, Nik and RiotingSpectre].

engadget.com

by Mariella Moon | April 15th 2015 At 2:02pm