According to additive manufacturing (AM) solutions reseller Laser Lines, the installation represents a first for the UK and was made possible with a 7.9 million GBP grant from the Government’s Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Wayne Morton, Senior Mechanical Design Engineer at CPI, commented: “Anatomy is incredibly difficult to design and replicate. Trying to model a human with a particular injury or syndrome using traditional techniques is virtually impossible until now. The new Digital Anatomy 3D Printer gives us precise control over what we are designing and developing as we can now manufacture model parts directly from data obtained by medical imaging methods such as CT scanning or MRI. It is a very valuable tool for our partners to benefit from as part of the design and prototyping phase of medical device development.”
The J750 Digital Anatomy 3D Printer was first introduced in 2019 to provide healthcare professionals and engineers with the ability to replicate the feel and biomechanics of the human body through multi-material, multi-colour 3D printed medical models based on real patient data. The machine has since been adopted globally by users such as Seattle Children’s Hospital, VA Health Care System, BIO3DModel and Schiner 3D Repro. At the CPI’s National Healthcare Photonics Centre, which includes optical system design and testing, imaging, printing and manufacturing capabilities, the printer will be deployed to create personalised models using patient scan data for pre-surgical planning.
Morton added: “We can convert data from medical scan data, such as MRI, into a solid design file and then be able to print someone’s actual skull, not just something that is an approximation. This is an incredible advance for a surgeon because several copies of that anatomical part can be manufactured enabling the surgeon to plan the procedure and optimise patient care.”
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