Awesome couple creating 3D printed rats for lab dissection

“We can print an animal and structure the layers so that they feel like real tissue, and make a model a person could dissect without ever having to wear gloves, use sharp tools or kill an animal.” And the rats rejoiced.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society reports that an estimated 6 to 12 million animals are dissected in the United States each year. That’s just so messed up in so many ways, not the least is which studies have shown that students who use humane alternatives to dissection score as well or better on performance tests than students who participate in dissection.

But this isn’t a story about how depressing dissection is, it’s a story about how great one Maryland couple is and the wonderful ways in which 3D printing can be put to smart, altruistic use.

Bart Taylor was working as a necropsy technician for a medical research institute when he bought a 3D printer. But like many people when presented with a novel new gadget, he wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. When he asked his wildlife biologist wife, Tara Whittle, she offered up the idea of a true-to-life animal model. And thus their company, NecropSynth, was born. The startup is dedicated to creating 3D-designed and printed, accurate anatomical models for scientific and education purposes. And even cooler than the premise itself: They plan to make all the schematics available for free. … (read more)