Over the last few weeks we have been covering a deluge on interesting projects that Bold Machines has been a part of. From intricate castles ,to an otherworldly geodesic dome to innovated new designs for 3D printable prostheses, the ‘Independent Product Development Workshop,’ which has just been spun off from global 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys, has been doing it all. And while Stratasys is no longer a part of the company, Bre Pettis should continue producing innovative and creative applications around this incredible technology.
Today, yet another awesome applications for 3D printing has emerged, which Bold Machines has worked diligently on with multidisciplinary design services studio, Milestone-Studio to complete, and this time it involves something which makes us all cringe; oral cancer.
Every year, 40,000 people in America and 640,000 globally are diagnosed with oral cancer. Typically the 5-year survival rate for most oral cancers is 65%, which certainly isn’t great. With the total number of diagnoses expected to increase by 50% by 2035, early detection could save millions of lives. In fact, those who catch the cancer early enough will see their 5-year survival rate increase to 90%.
So how will doctors detect these cancers in time to save lives? A company called Vista Dental is producing the OncoLight Oral Lesion Screening Kit, a nontoxic, palatable, and affordable way for doctors to detect oral cancer by increasing the visibility of oral mucosal abnormalities while reducing false positives, using an innovative lighting device.
Milestone-Studio, based in Brooklyn, NY and Tel Aviv, Israel, were the ones who managed the project’s design development, building both alpha and beta prototypes of the device which should drastically increase a doctor’s ability to spot and then determine if a lesion is cancerous. Bold Machines, on the other hand, came into the project to create accurate pre-molding prototypes. These prototypes were important in helping influence the functionality, ergonomics, and style of the tool.
For the prototyping, Bold Machines was able to utilize the StratasysObjet 500 Connex3 3D printer that they had on hand at their workshop, which allowed them to print in numerous different materials.
“We were using the Connex3/Objet 500, with the ability to mimic behavior of a silicon non slippery base, a translucent connecting ring – to emit indicating light and a 2 piece charging body ready for assembly,” states Bold Machines. “The results were as close as possible to reality and we actually used the Alpha prototype charger electronics with the printed objects.”
As you can see from the images provided, the prototyped version of the device was able to utilize materials with varying properties, dependent on their main purpose, while allowing for rapid iterations and changes within the design on the fly.
It’s technologies like 3D printing which will ultimately drive new products into the market, more affordably and quite a bit faster than traditional means of manufacturing and prototyping have been doing. This will hopefully lead to a slew of new innovations within virtually every industry moving forward.