3D Printing Bone replacements, Cartilage replacements, Medical devices and more with 618 Nylon

Feb.18, 2013

30 minutes after the accident, the patient is already on the operating table having been processed through xray. While nurses and doctors attend to cuts and bruises, two surgeons look over xrays of the right femur. During a horrific side impact crash, part of the metal structure of the car door has shattered the upper portion of the femur including the ball of the hip. Normally a standard hip replacement would be called for, but in this case the upper femur is shattered in such a way as to eliminate the use of a standard ball joint with spike support. The hip cartilage is in good shape however and the team decides to 3D Print a replacement upper femur. This would normally take more than one operation, as the exact shape would need to be reproduced by actual measurement or 3D scanning and then 3D Printed in a sintering printer using titanium. However, this hospital has a standard reprap style 3D Printer capable of printing at high speeds with a new material well tolerated by the human body. One that’s been used for over 50 years in surgeries and wound closures performed all over the world. Nylon. The benefits and features of nylon are exactly what would be called for in a material to support the weight of a human along with its pliability to allow some “give” and its slippery surface texture to provide a smooth movement of the joint.

This scenario is possible right now as the technology is only three months into its start in that doctors, surgeons and specialist from all over the world have just begun evaluating a new 3D Printing specific material called 618 Nylon. Top surgeons and doctors from the Hague to Cambridge have already determined 618 meets or exceeds the requirements to support several possible uses inside and out of the human body. From bone replacement to electronic sensor enclosures, hospitals and clinics can now design and print on-demand “patient specific” support components. In the past, a prosthetic designed specifically for a patient’s shape, weight and structure would require iterations of models and try-outs. With the combination of 3D scanning and on-demand 3D Printing, a patient can now leave the Dr’s office with a pliable prosthetic or orthopedic device designed specifically for their needs and body shape all printed, while they wait, on a low cost reprap style 3D printer. The newly printed and pliable parts won’t split, break or tear and some can be machine-washed and dried. All at the same cost as current 3D printing materials.

Within just a week of 618’s release, printed samples along with evaluation material was sent by request to the Hague University, The Netherlands Applied Sciences Department: Technology, Innovation & Society.

Read more: 3ders.org – 3D Printing Bone replacements, Cartilage replacements, Medical devices and more with 618 Nylon | 3D Printer News & 3D Printing News.

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