It’s not an exaggeration to proclaim that 3D technology is saving lives. Aside from being an incredibly fascinating technology, additive manufacturing and accompanying technology like 3D scanning and modeling are providing solutions to formerly difficult if not insoluble problems.
That’s certainly the case in the field of medicine. One patient with a life- and sight-threatening tumor was the beneficiary of a revolutionary surgical procedure that involved 3D scanning, modeling, and printing as well as successful collaboration.
The National Centre for Product Design and Development Research (PDR), a leading design and research institute within Cardiff Metropolitan University in Cardiff, Wales (UK), has recently engaged in a close collaborative relationship with a maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Satyajeet Bhatia from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, to establish a safe surgical plan involving 3D scanning, modeling, and printing for a patient diagnosed with a bone tumor. The tumor was invading the orbit, the cavity in the skull where the eye and its appendages are located, and was applying pressure to the optic nerve and endangering the patient’s eyesight.
In operation for over 20 years, PDR combines high quality research activity and consultancy to provide its partners with new approaches to product design, development, and implementation. Partnering with Dr. Bhatia, PDR’s overall objective was to improve the accuracy, predictability, and speed of the surgical procedure. The surgical plan included creating a custom surgical cutting guide that would help Dr. Bhatia reconstruct the affected area of the skull using a 3D printed custom titanium multi-part implant. … (read more)