3D Printing + The Body + You

Two weeks ago, on a Tuesday evening, I met up with friends and drove two hours to San Jose to attend this event at The Tech Museum of Innovation. The event was similar to the Thursday evening Art Mix at the Crocker Museum, but with an technological twist instead of the live music and exhibit-inspired activities.

image.jpg

The event was unfortunately on a week night, which means two more hours of driving back to Sacramento on the same night. However, I was curious about a Silicon Valley event on a topic that was interesting to me. Silicon Valley isn't going to travel to me, so I have to do the driving.

image.jpg

During the main evening event, Scott Summit of Bespoke Innovations talked about how his team utilizes 3D printing technology to create functional and beautiful devices to fit the patients' medical needs. Aside from the prosthetic limbs, there was an example of a custom-fitted, 3D-printed cast for a broken arm. Due to its superior fit to the patient's arm and strength of the material, there was no need for the cast to be a solid piece. As a result, this light-weight, breathable cast allows the patients maximum movement, comfort, and the ability to shower unassisted in a matter of days.

image.jpg

In my opinion, the majority of the display tables (not pictured) targeted the DIY crowd. Not this one. Anatomage shows off their high-end "virtual dissection" table along with 3D printed cadaver models that look almost like the real specimens, but without the smell of preservatives and messiness to touch.

A full size, 3D printed cadaver model for anatomical studies

A full size, 3D printed cadaver model for anatomical studies

Is 3D printing the most efficient, cost effective way of creating an anatomical model? I highly doubt that. However, it has the advantage of being true to actual data, and that's important sometimes. In the photo above, an Anatomage representative discusses with the audience how much detail is chosen to be represented in the printed model.