Personalized 3D-printed organ models show pre-op patients what they’re facing

3dyourscan medical tech
Long-term, the dream of medical additive manufacturing is to be able to bioprint fully functional 3D-printed organs. That doesn’t mean that 3D printing doesn’t have anything concrete to offer the medical world in the meantime, however.

Full-color 3D-printing giant WhiteCloud has launched a new medical 3D printing service called 3DyourSCAN: offering personalized full color pre-surgery educational models based on a patient’s CT/MRI scans. Most impressively of all, these individual models can be turned around as quickly 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.”

3DyourSCAN involves a proprietary “Hinge & Slice” system, able to provide a cross-section — connected by a hinge — to show what’s going on inside a particular body part. The 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.”

He explained that, while other companies have previously offered custom models of organs, these can take three to five weeks to create due to the manual processes involved. That is something that 3D printing — and a company with the resources of WhiteCloud — can help change.

“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.”

In all, it’s just another way that 3D printing — and the industry leaders within it — are changing the world for the better.

Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Emerging Tech

Israeli startup believes it mastered the art of vegan steaks

Love meat, but worry about the impact that it is having on our planet? An Israeli startup, Jet-Eat, has created technology for 3D printing its own vegan steaks. No animal death required.
Emerging Tech

This exotic new material somehow gets thicker when stretched

Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Leeds have discovered a synthetic material which actually gets thicker the more it’s stretched. Here are some of the things it could be used for.
Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!