3D Printing in Biomedical Engineering
Many of young entrepreneurs have found a good chance of helping others by using 3D Printing technologies as a feasible solution to basic biomechanical problems, but is there any danger by adopting these medical technologies?
Biomechanics applies the principles of physics and mechanics to a living body, which gives us the opportunity of describing why and how living bodies move, but it is not the only topic that we need to have in mind when fabricating prosthetics. Anthropometry and goniometry are fundamental for this process, which is thought by the author not to be used in most makers’ process of producing these technologies. While anthropometry describes the principles of the measurement of the body’s components, goniometry gives us a chance to study the angles produced by movements from any joint there is.
If a biomaker wants to really help a patient, he needs to take into consideration these topics in order to help the patient and not affect him, having in mind that the device could produce an injury to the patient related to mechanical issues.
In other applications, professionals have found that by converting DICOM files (and other extensions) into .STL files you can 3D print anatomical-scaled models of a patient's body part. This has granted healthcare professionals another opportunity to plan out their surgeries before they surgically intervene.
It's a fact, there are tons of applications of 3D printing in healthcare. Here are some of them, maybe you could use a 3D printer for your next project:
- Medical device non-invasive part fabrication
- Creation of a housing for your school project
- Organ models
- Plastic implants (if using bio-compatible tested and approved materials)
- Low cost cast and prosthetics fabrication
- 3D printed drugs (Lee Cronin from University of Glasglow actually printed a prototype of a capsule).