The long-term goal of medical additive manufacturing is to have the ability to bioprint completely useful 3D-printed organs. That does not infer; however, that 3D printing does not currently offer the medical world numerous advantages.
WhiteCloud (Full-color 3D-printing giant) has released a 3D printing service called 3DyourSCAN. This service offers patients undergoing surgery; special-made, full-color models of their organs based on their CT/MRI scans for educational purposes. The most impressive part is that these personalized models can be produced as fast as 24 hours.
“There is still a really big barrier when it comes to communicating and understand what is going on inside the body,” Braden Ellis, WhiteCloud’s chief revenue officer, told Digital Trends. “This process really changes people’s perspective on what personalized healthcare can be. It’s now possible to give people a truly visible interaction with what’s going on inside themselves, prior to surgery. It provides the patient — who doesn’t have training to read MRIs or CAT scans — an understanding of what they’re facing, and why surgery may be the right route for them.”
In order to be able to visualize the inside of the organ; 3DyourSCAN includes a “Hinge & Slice” system allowing for a cross-section connected by a hinge. This technology is a partnership with advanced visualization software company TeraRecon.
“It’s mind-blowing to see what can come out of these printers,” Ellis continued. “Color is a really big aspect. Single color prints don’t really highlight the areas of interest. TeraRecon has incredibly incredible algorithms for color shading. It gives a sense of true realistic color; much like what a surgeon would be seeing. It makes it much more relatable for people.”
Ellis explained that even though other companies previously produced personalized models of organs; they usually take three to five weeks to produce. 3D printing (and a company with the resources of WhiteCloud) can help to change this.
“The turnaround time is really important,” he said. “With instant gratification services like Amazon Prime setting the bar of expectations for what people expect with delivery, we knew that this was key. With the capacity and technology that we have, our factories are able to handle thousands of objects every day — personalized and customized for individuals.”
And while services like Amazon Prime will rush the latest Game of Thrones boxset to our door, Ellis noted that in the medical world this takes on added importance.
“We see the need for this to be quick, because surgery often can’t wait,” he noted. “If it’s a knee surgery there may not be a huge rush, but if you look at children’s heart surgery or [operations to remove] brain tumors, these are things which are needed to be handled rapidly.”
At the end of the day; this is just one more way in which 3D printing as well as its industry leaders, are making the world a better place.