Proven, Productive Healthcare 3D Printing Solutions

 

Clarence and Carl Aguirre celebrate two birthdays: April 21st, commemorating the day the conjoined twins were born, and August 4th, commemorating the day they were surgically separated and began to develop separate lives. The 2004 surgery, which this year celebrates its 10 year anniversary, was the final of four staged operations that were undertaken to divide the boys, who were attached at the top of the head. 

The surgery was one of the first successful operations of its kind, and was especially challenging as the boys were not just attached at the skull, but shared a brain connection. This translated to a delicate surgical navigation of all their complex shared vascularity. The odds of the surgery’s success were daunting, but there was no true alternative, as without the operation doctors believed the boys would have perished within 6-8 months.  

Aware of the risks and eager to avoid them, the surgical teams at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York conducted significant research to prepare for the surgery, including the creation of 3D printed models using CT and MRI data. Lead pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. James T. Goodrich says the models were extremely helpful in planning and gave him critical advance insight into potential anatomical complications. The life-size models were printed in 3DS’ ClearView® material, demonstrating the children’s bone structure with selectively colored representations of the critical blood vessels.

“The medical team had to carefully plan out how to gradually separate the vital blood vessels in the brain that were used by both twins,” said Andy Christensen, Vice President of Personalized Surgery and Medical Devices, 3DS. “The surgeons reported that the 3D printed anatomical models were a key part of the surgical planning for this incredibly complex case.” The use of virtual surgical planning is increasing and is changing the way surgeries are performed for dramatically improved results and recovery times. More than a thousand 3DS advanced manufacturing-grade SLA 3D printers are in use in the medical field, producing tens of millions of medical devices annually.

Now, 10 years after surgery, Clarence and Carl are happy 12-year-old boys with distinct personalities. While Carl loves playing video games and spending time with his brother, Clarence is enthusiastically exploring dancing and likes to swim. For their mother Arlene, the past 12 years have been full of challenges and blessings, and she says it is heartwarming to watch her sons interact. “Their bonding is very close. Sometimes we’ll be sitting at the dinner table together and they’ll just look at each other and start to laugh. They still have a very strong connection.”

For more on the twin’s story, watch the video below.

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Release Date: 
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 10:30
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Doing the Impossible with the ProX 500

Undefined
Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 13:45
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A Leg that Fits: Making Natasha's 3D-Printed Prosthetic in Two Weeks

3D Printing Makes Thinkers into Doers

By Kendall Joudrie, Thinking Robot Studios.

(Story Excerpt)

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Good design is its own reward, but official recognition is certainly icing on the cake. 3D Systems is proud to share that our Bespoke design innovations for the Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton received bronze in the Social Impact category of the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) from the IDSA and Core77, while Bespoke Braces received honorable mention.

The suit is the first-ever 3D printed hybrid robotic exoskeleton, created by 3D Systems’ designers Scott Summit and Gustavo Fricke in collaboration with Ekso Bionics. Using 3D scanning to generate a personalized 3D model of patient Amanda Boxtel’s unique shape, Summit and Fricke crafted a 3D design to custom fit her while seamlessly incorporating the electronics needed to help her walk. Witness Amanda’s exoskeleton in action here.

Bespoke Braces for the hand and wrist enable the automated scanning of limbs to create custom 3D printed braces using 3D Systems’ SLS technologies. The braces can be shipped to patients within a matter of days. Andy Miller, Andrew Zukoski and Gustavo Fricke were the lead designers around the technology of this innovation.

Read more here.

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Release Date: 
Monday, July 7, 2014 - 09:30
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ProJet 1200 Setup Guide

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Release Date: 
Friday, June 13, 2014 - 14:15
Source: 
FAST COMPANY

 

Being a teenager isn’t easy, and it doesn’t get any easier for teens with medical conditions like spinal scoliosis. Defined as a lateral or rotational curvature of the spine that initially appears in children during the prepubescent ages of 8-13, spinal scoliosis currently affects nearly 7 million Americans, 90% being female.

Many treatments involve cumbersome braces that are difficult to get on and uncomfortable to wear, yet sticking to a brace-wearing regimen is critical to treatment of the condition. For Meredith, an exuberant 13-year-old scoliosis patient, the experience of spinal correction was bulky and inelegant. Her father hoped she could find a better solution, and that’s where the Bespoke team of 3D Systems stepped in with a custom solution that merged design with function.

Each Bespoke brace is fitted to each specific patient and 3D printed in porous patterns that breathe easily, reducing weight, cost and discomfort, and which allow patients to give an aesthetic to their healing. According to Meredith, her new brace “has really changed how I view myself, and how other kids see me. My good friends, who know that I have scoliosis, think my brace is cool. Everybody else doesn’t even know that I’m wearing it because the design makes it invisible even under a shirt.”

To read more about how good design is changing medical outcomes and perspectives, read the full story here

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