NewPro3D made quite a stir at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show when they showed off their new 3D printing technology that printed objects faster than any other printer around. At the show the Vancouver-based 3D printing company happily showed off objects being 3D printing at a blistering pace of 55 mm (2.15 inches) in only 4.3 minutes. With the NewPro3D printer, models that literally would take more than eleven hours on an FDM 3D printer were being pulled from a vat of resin in a matter of minutes. Their ILI printing technology was even 30% faster than the lightning fast Carbon3D CLIP technology that had made a huge splash last year.
As if that wasn’t fast enough, the company is now saying that they have now shattered their own printing speed records. They did it by tacking the issue of printing cross sectional areas, which are always difficult to print quickly using light-curing resin technologies. Thier new process has allowed them to print a model that used to take them four hours to print in just under 45 minutes. And believe it or not, but the company says that they are still working on the new process and think that they can shave even more time off of the amount of time that it takes to print.
These faster printing speeds came about because the company was contacted by Dr. Bruno Correa de Azevedo DDS MS who is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. He contacted NewPro3D hoping that their technology could help reduce the time it took to plan facial surgeries and prevent his patients from having to wait more than a week to get severe breaks and fractures repaired. Typically complex facial damage that needs to be reconstructed is pre-planned with a 3D printed model made from CT scan data. This can sometimes take up to a week, and if the surgery needs to progress without the model, then the plates and implants that hold the bones together need to be shaped and fitted while the patient is on the operating table.
“We have printed parts for emergency patients that usually would take weeks to be printed, having them available in less than an hour has huge implications on the medical field and in the Operating Room. This is a huge game changer for surgical planning,” said Dr. Correa de Azevedo.
With a 3D printed model of the damaged area, doctors can easily plan the complex surgical procedure, pre-bend and shape any plates or implants and reduce the actual operating time by as much as 50%. With the NewPro3D printer, Dr. Correa de Azevedo was able to get a 3D printed replica of one of his patient’s skull in less than 45 minutes. The same technology was also used to 3D print an accurate replica of another patient’s jaw just as quickly.
Needless to say this will have a huge impact on the medical field for a variety of reasons. Obviously it will reduce the time a patient is left to deal with the pain of their injury; just imagine sitting in a hospital with multiple facial fractures for a week, waiting for your surgery to be planned. Super-fast 3D printing will also reduce the fatigue of surgeons, who will need to spend less time in the operating room. Hospitals will also benefit because shorter surgery times will tie up operating rooms for less time, saving money and reducing surgery backlogs.
“Seeing first hand how our printing speeds directly helped someone in a moment of need really motivated us. Even though we could already print an entire human skull in 45 minutes and that was already a huge achievement, we decided to once again take bigger risks and new approaches to our method,” NewPro3D’s Diego Castañon Seoane told 3DPrint.com via email.
The Intelligent Liquid Interface (ILI) technology that powers the NewPro3D printer is on the surface quite similar to other light-curing resin bottom-up 3D printers. However ILI has a transparent wettable membrane positioned between the resin and the light source that is chemically designed to create a dead zone between the it and the printed object that inhibits polymerization. Along with a proprietary algorithm, this bypasses many of the mechanical processes that slow down conventional 3D printing techniques and dramatically speeds up the process. The ILI 3D printer allows objects to be grown directly out of the resin continuously at record breaking speeds. You can learn more about NewPro3D and their ILI technology over on their website. Discuss in the NewPro3 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.