Miller 3D, a division of machine tool technology supplier AW Miller, does a little bit of everything in terms of 3D technology. The New York-based company is a reseller of 3D printers, scanners and software, as well as a 3D printing service provider with expertise in a range of industries including medical devices, automotive, aerospace, appliances, education, arts and more. They’ve lent their services to some fascinating projects, such as a recent collaboration with Alfred University to replicate a pottery collection with 3D printing.
One area that Miller 3D has been specializing in lately has been healthcare. The State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) is heavily utilizing 3D printing as an educational tool in its medical department for surgical planning, research and patient communication, to name just a few applications. Partnering with Miller 3D, the university is taking advantage of 3D printed medical models to train students in anatomy.
“Because a CT scan of the internal body can be converted to a 3D printable object students can learn in far greater detail how anatomy works and therefore have a deeper understanding of actual medical practice,“ said Matt Jones, manager at Miller 3D.
Detailed, realistic 3D printed models of organs from actual patients help students to understand various diseases and disorders, giving them the ability to study them up close in a hands-on way. When they encounter similar disorders in medical practice, even years later, the students will already be a step ahead with diagnosis and treatment.
Miller 3D has been 3D printing medical models for institutions that go far beyond UB, including other universities and clinical settings. With the variety of 3D printers in Miller 3D’s inventory, they have the capability to 3D print models with an unprecedented level of accuracy and detail. For example, the company recently used 3D Systems‘ newly released ProJet MJP 2500 to 3D print a heart from a patient CT scan. Printed in a translucent latex material, the model clearly shows every detail of the organ, including the tiniest blood vessels.
“The fact that a heart for example can be printed in various cross sections will give medical personnel in depth look of a patient before any surgery is required,” said Jones. “This also holds true on surgical planning where lifelike textures can be 3D printed and practice surgical procedures can be performed.”
We’ve seen plenty of cases where 3D printed heart models have saved the lives of people, from babies to adults, with even the most serious disorders. Many of those lives would likely have been tragically lost without help from the 3D printed models that allow doctors and surgeons to assess the damage with complete accuracy and plan the complex surgical procedures needed to save the patients.
While AW Miller has been in business for more than 40 years, Miller 3D is a relatively new division, formed after the company recognized the many applications in which 3D printing could complement their manufacturing business. In addition to their headquarters near Buffalo, New York, Miller 3D also has offices in Harmony, Pennsylvania and Saint-Laurent, Quebec. Discuss in the Miller 3D forum at 3DPB.com.