Model of a Bone Stabilizer

Model of a Bone Stabilizer

3D printing in surgery and medical engineering.

Challenge

For his master’s thesis, Filip Dominas needed a way to display the results of his biomedical engineering studies. He decided to go beyond 3D models, and use a more tangible way to illustrate his point, simultaneously showing application of a new technology in preparing for bone fracture surgeries.

Solution

Filip created a simplified 3D model of the bones, suitable for 3D printing. For this case, only the fibula, tibia and talus bones were fully modeled. Ligaments were reduced to simple connectors in-between. Other elements, such as veins or nerves are skipped, due to their insignificance for the mechanical stress analysis. Filip also modeled and printed the stabilizer itself in the form of plates to be attached to the 3D printed bones. Finally, the model was divided into parts corresponding with ZMorph 3D printer work area dimensions and prepared for printing using Voxelizer software. After the parts were finished, Filip combined them together, resulting in a 1:1 scale model.

Result

In this study, a real-life case of a bone fracture was analyzed, in order to find the best way to ensure successful healing of the tibia bone fracture by varying a stabilization method of a fibula. Five different scenarios were modeled, calculated, summarized and compared. 3D printing on a ZMorph 3D printer has been chosen as the most cost-effective method of displaying results of the study and complete the master’s thesis. A similar process can be used by engineers to prepare showcase models and even create innovations for medical devices. Analogically, doctors can use 3D printing to communicate more clearly with their patients and prepare better for surgeries.

3D printed bone stabilizer

Bone stabilizer 2

Bone stabilizer 1

 

3D printing helps the Design Does* exhibition at the Design Museum

The Domestic Data Streamers team uses BCN3D Sigma and Sigmax 3D printers to produce several items that can be found at the Design Does* exhibition, currently open at the Design Museum of Barcelona.

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Exhibition Design Does* 

Design Does* is a co-production between the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona and Elisava, in collaboration with Domestic Data Streamers.

The exhibition is a research project to generate knowledge at group level by questioning the current use of design and reflecting on how sometimes it offers advantages and on other occasions drawbacks. Thus it defines future challenges and poses the question of what role the designer plays in society.

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Free Universal Construction Kit, a project by Golan Levin (F.A.T. Lab) and Shawn Sims (Sy-Lab)

An unconventional approach

Can we live without plastic? Can design pose moral challenges? Where do things come from? How do we join together what industry separates? Can we design something we cannot see?

These are some of the 15 questions linked to current events that the visitor will encounter and which will be represented by 15 real projects developed by renowned designers all around the world.

The exhibition is a dynamic initiative that generates knowledge and breaks away from standard exhibition structures. It places visitors in a key position, requiring them to reflect and turning them into an active component which in turn generates new content.

With its strong technological character, Design Does* encourages interaction with visitors, who can relate to the exhibits by responding to the questions asked of them. Their answers will be stored on a card that will be used to research public opinion.

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Follow, project by Daniel Armengol Altayó

The virtue of 3D printing in short-term designs

The exhibition, curated by Elisava and Domestic Data Streamers, uses 3D printing technology to create some of the pieces that can be found throughout the exhibition. Domestic Data Streamers (DDS) is a Barcelona start-up that researches new communication formats using data.

The DDS team has long been committed to the use of 3D printing as a tool to revolutionize their workflow, as was the case of The Timekeeper project in collaboration with Spotify. Additive manufacturing enables them to bring to life unique designs with complex geometries that will only be manufactured once. Undoubtedly, one of the features of 3D printing and the benefits it provides compared to other technologies is the agility and speed to manufacture end products, which drastically reduces project costs and the time required to develop it.

The only restriction is imagination

Death Inc. is one of the most appealing installations in the exhibition – a robot whose entire structure is printed in 3D using BCN3D Sigma and Sigmax printers.

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Death Inc., project by Domestic Data Streamers

As the visitor approaches, the robot is activated and traces their path with a laser pointer while turning on a 360° axis. The project poses the question of whether we should we automate everything and attempts to challenge and project how design can be incorporated into ethical issues, such as designing autonomous weapons that are able to make decisions in the face of any situation without the need for human interaction.

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One piece printing and the assembly process of the Death Inc.

As a technology, 3D printing is loaded with moral and ethical implications. Now that we have reached the point when anybody that owns a 3D printer is able to print whatever they like, we should ask ourselves what impact that may have in the future.

3D printing revolutionizes ETSEIB Motorsport workflow with the BCN3D Sigmax

ETSEIB Motorsport, one of the most experienced teams in the Formula Student competition, uses 3D printing to revolutionize their day-to-day operations. Thanks to the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer, the team has been able to speed up the design phase and to fabricate end-use pieces that are directly mounted on the car itself. This has allowed them to greatly reduce the car costs and shrink the lead times. They are now capable to iterate faster and get refined designs in a very straightforward workflow.

 

The Formula Student team

Formula Student is a competition between students from universities around the world that promotes excellence in engineering through a competition where team members design, build, test, and race a formula-type racing car.

The ETSEIB Motorsport team is made up of 40 industrial engineers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. This is the 10th consecutive year that they design a formula-type vehicle. For the first 4 years they made combustion cars and these past 6 years they have manufactured electric cars.

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ETSEIB Motorsport formula racing car.

3D Printing to revolutionize their workflow

Since the ETSEIB Motorsport has incorporated 3D Printing FFF desktop technology into their day-to-day operations, their design and fabrication processes have improved drastically. Additive manufacturing has basically served them in three main areas:

· Improvement in the design validation stage:

Having a 3D printer in-house allows the engineers to print their CAD designs overnight, drastically reducing the validation and iteration time. This new procedure ensures the Formula team does not longer depend on external suppliers to fabricate their parts, allowing them to spend more time developing new ideas and concepts.

· Rapid manufacturing of cost-effective end-use parts:

3D printing has helped them to manufacture parts that are directly mounted on the car itself. Some of them are the brake ducts, several cable ties and they have even printed molds to make pieces of carbon fiber. Thanks to the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer, the ETSEIB Motorsport team has been able to optimize their production and achieve greater efficiency.

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3D printed cooling brake duct assembled (left) and carbon fiber steering wheel made from a 3D printed mold (right).

· Reducing car cost and shrinking lead times:

Finally, desktop in-house 3D printing has allowed them to reduce the costs of the car. The team has been able to produce parts quicker and at a lower cost than using traditional fabrication methods, especially in the design of unique and complex pieces. By using the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer, the team has saved thousands of euros in the car development. The initial investment was fully paid back during the first months of usage.

BCN3D Sigmax as a workhorse manufacturing tool

The team at ETSEIB Motorsport chose the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer due to its massive printing volume. This allowed them to easily place certain parts of the car on the printing platform.

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Cooling duct 3D printed on the BCN3D Sigmax with mirror mode in nylon, ideal to withstand high temperatures, vibrations and mechanical stresses.

Furthermore, thanks to Independent Dual Extruder (IDEX) system and its mirror mode, the engineers are able to print symmetrical pieces at the same time, like this cooling duct for the brake disc. This is of great use in the automotive field since many of the pieces are symmetrical.

Finally, the hotend family has allowed them to choose a hotend suitable for each moment. For small parts that need a lot of precision, they used Ø0.4 mm size nozzles. However, for larger pieces that are going to be subjected to mechanical stress, they used bigger nozzles such as Ø0.8mm or Ø1.0mm.

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ETSEIB Motorsport, by using 3D printing technologies, is able to fabricate parts for formula-type cars quickly and affordable. Are you interested to find out what BCN3D Technologies can do for your business? Contact us at info@bcn3dtechnologies.com, we love hearing from you!