3D printing has been around for awhile. I remember seeing my first resin printer at an electric motor manufacturing plant in the 90’s. Of course at that time it was an expensive piece of equipment and not practical for you and me to own. Today, 3D printing is a billion dollar industry and growing around 25% a year. Many industries are benefiting from this technology gaining improved efficiency, reducing costs and making their products better for you and me.
3D Printing in the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry is no exception. GL Robotics has several customers in the medical field using 3D printing to improve the wellness of their patients. One of our hospital customers prints actual reproductions of a person’s body part. For example, a knee.
The process begins with a CT scan or MRI of the person’s knee. This is the traditional scan the patient would get for the doctor to review and determine the problem. The CT and MRI technologies are awesome but they have to be viewed on a 2 dimensional surface like a monitor. This can create a few challenges for the doctor.
How GL Robotics Assists with 3D Printing Services
Our customer exports the scan which is really a series of sliced images and creates a stl. file. A perfect compliment for 3D printing! The image is then fed into a slicer and loaded normally into either a FDM or SLA printer depending on the size and detail needed. The part is then printed using one of GL Robotics’ custom filament colors designed to create an accurate visual.
Now, the Doctor has a replica of the knee, heart or cranium. They can show the patient the problem and how the surgery will be performed. The doctor can even plan his access and see any structural differences leading to more precise and shorter surgeries.
At GL Robotics we are proud to be a small part of this potentially life saving benefit. If you know of any healthcare professionals interested in learning more about 3D printing from scans or needing one of the several colors we supply to make the most realistic models, please contact us at GL Robotics.