The Zortrax M200 3D printer is undeniably one of the most popular machines in use today, and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of operating one, you know why—from the sleek aesthetics and awesome accompanying software to a quiet, purring machine that pumps out perfect prints nearly every time, thanks to great engineering. Now, this hardware will be even closer to your heart upon hearing that its talents will be put to use for potentially saving lives—and many scientists and surgeons worldwide will be taking note of the latest 3D printed model able to replicate cardiac chamber models.
The Polish company, well-known not only for popularity and stunning sales but also a dedication to seeing 3D printers in the classroom and providing them too, also has a clear vision regarding the role their 3D printers should play in the world of medicine. The Zortrax team understands that while many sectors will benefit enormously in the coming years thanks to 3D printing, the positive impacts that will be seen by the medical profession, because it deals with saving lives, are even more important.
The fact that digital design and 3D printing allow for the winning combination of both precision and affordability is one of the major benefits of the new technology, which is primarily transforming to medicine because of its ability to offer doctors and medical professionals the chance to offer patient-specific care and use a variety of 3D models for research, diagnosing, education, and deciding on treatment options.
Very important new research is ongoing currently at the Cybernetics Department of the Military University of Technology in Warsaw. Dr. Krzysztof Murawski, PhD, Dr. Leszek Grad, PhD, and Dr. Artur Arciuch, PhD, are collaborating with Prof. Pustelny who initially began the project with his team from the Optoelectronics Department of the Silesian University of Technology. They certainly are not working on your typical 3D printing project, either.
“Together, they are developing innovative methods of analysis and measurement which rely on artificial neural networks and the use of augmented realities in sensory technology,” states the Zortrax team in a recent press release.
In this project, the researchers have used Zortrax M200 3D printers to create models of the heart which allow them to conduct numerous tests. They have made several different 3D printed heart models, with each one comprising a hematic chamber, a membrane and a pneumatic chamber. Everything has been completely 3D printed except for the membrane, which according to Zortrax, was made by molding silicone or rubber in 3D printed forms that were pre-prepared. Using an amazing method, proprietary to the lab, they have actually been able to send power to the chambers of the heart chamber models, providing expanded ways to analyze and measure.
Without being able to design the models and 3D print them, a project like this previously would have been cost-prohibitive. With the M200, not only was budget eliminated as a concern, they were able to make extremely high quality, precise models to work from in their research. The researchers will continue to use the models to verify theories as well as perform experimental research. The end goal is to see increased safety of artificial hearts in the future.
So while we may have greatly enjoyed 3D printing some designs and projects in the home from the desktop, the Zortrax can go from pleasing a group of young designers to creating a model that may one day allow for improvements in the creation of the artificial heart—thus increasing the quality of or saving a life in the future. This is a serious testament to the strength and versatility of a superior 3D printer manufactured by a company who not only cares about providing quality but also seeing that everyone is able to have access to it, no matter their fabrication needs. Discuss this latest use of technology in the medical field in the Zortrax M200 3D Prints Heart Chamber Models forum over at 3DPB.com.