3D printed body parts changing the lives of those who need it most

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) –

The next generation of printers are reproducing human body parts, and now, an international program is connecting 3D printers up with those who need a helping hand.

A 3D printer for Jose Delgado will punch out at 16 hours because it’s following a blue print for a human hand. That’s a hand Delgado depends on.

“This helps me pick up the boxes when I load trucks or unload trucks, or pick something up and put it on the table or whatever,” he said.

By trade, Delgado is a fork lift driver and box handler, which are jobs that would be very difficult without the use of his cyborg Beast. And yes, that’s what it’s called.

“He said it’s called the Beast and I said yeah, that’s a good name for it because it’s kind of like a

Beast robot type thing,” he said.

Jeremy Simon is the man behind the hand.

“I became fascinated with 3D printing technology just because I sensed a great potential in it,” Simon said.

He owns a 3D printing business and is also a volunteer with the international organization e-NABLE.

“I went on the internet looking for a new prosthetic hand and I ran across e-NABLE,” Delgado said.

Simon added, “e-NABLE has something that we call the matching team, which will then work to match each recipient with a volunteer that can make a hand for them and get it properly sized.”

Delgado spent $42,000 for his last prosthetic device.

“I guess it was technology back in the day,” he said.

The Beast — made almost entirely out of plant-based, biodegradable plastic — costs just $50 to make. However, Delgado got an even better deal.

“He said it’s free for people around the area because he wants to help people out so I said, I like that even better,” Delgado said.

Simon added, “We hope to be an example of how companies and individuals can use this technology to make a real impact

E-NABLE’s master plan is for each family that uses one of their prosthetic devices to own their own 3D printer. So, if a part breaks, they can just print a replacement on the spot.

For more information, visit e-NABLE’s website

Microsoft Integrates Kinect into 3D Builder, Allowing Full Body Color 3D Scanning and Printing

It’s certainly no surprise that Microsoft finally dipped their feet into the water with 3D printing technology. They developed their 3D Builder app about a year ago, with a product that allows you to 3D print with ease, whether you are downloading designs or creating something new and original.

Microsoft's 3D BuilderAvailable at the Windows Store, 3D Builder allows you to load, view, manipulate, and print 3D from your PC running Windows 8.1. But wait! There’s a one-two punch going on with 3D Builder: now you can get really innovative and original with creations due to Microsoft’s innovation of Kinect for Windows v2 sensor into 3D Builder, allowing you to perform DIY full body color scanning.

kinectwindows-1lgNovices can scan and print items in full color with the capabilities of 3D Builder and Kinect. For example, if you are having yourself scanned, you would need someone else to do the scanning, which is very user-friendly. You just have to stand very still while being scanned by the Windows Kinect, and quickly you will see yourself in the 3D Builder app, where you can refine the image and then send it to be 3D printed.

3D Builder allows you to:

  • Scan in 3D color using a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor.
  • Refine and repair models automatically before printing.
  • Automatically repair models to make them printable.
  • Print directly to your 3D printer or order your model through 3D Systems.
  • Emboss any model with text or images.
  • Merge, intersect, or subtract objects from each other, or slice them into pieces.

While we are most excited and focused on the Kinect integration with 3D Builder that allows you to scan yourself and your friends, with the update, Kinect Software Development Kit 2.0, Microsoft offers over 200 new functions to make Kinect more user-friendly and accessible, with developers able to make their Kinect apps available in the Windows Store, including:

  • 3D Builder
  • Nayi Disha – interactive childhood education apps
  • YAKiT – a 2D/3D character design app

‘This was a frequent request from the community and we are delighted to enable you to bring more personal computing experiences that feature gesture control, body tracking, and object recognition to Windows customers around the world. Access to the Windows Store opens a whole new marketplace for business and consumer experiences.,” said Microsoft officials, regarding accessibility of Kinect-integrated apps into the Windows Store.

kinect for xbox 360Microsoft does recommend that you run 3D Builder with a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor for better results.

Everything is free to download, except for the Kinect adapter to hook up your Xbox One Kinect to your PC, through a USB 3.0 port. Available for $49.99, the adapter should be available to you anywhere.

The new Kinect Adapter for Windows also requires a USB 3.0 port, is priced at $199, and won’t work with the Kinect sensor for Xbox 360.The Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) 2.0 is available today for free download. There are no fees for runtime licenses of commercial applications developed with the SDK.

Slice objects

Slice objects in 3D Builder

Have you been using 3D Builder? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the Microsoft Integrates Kinect into 3D Builder forum at 3DPB.com.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXbDkJ7cRrA]

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Melbourne-made 3D-printed body parts could replace cadavers for medical training

A team of medical experts in Melbourne has created a 3D-printed anatomy kit that is set to revolutionise medical training around the world.

The printed body parts which look almost exactly the same as the real thing can be used to replace difficult to get and expensive cadavers that are crucial for training doctors.

On display, the rows of body parts paint a macabre picture – but these hands, feet, brains and hearts are not the real thing – they’re 3D-printed copies.

Professor Paul McMenamin, from Monash University in Melbourne, hopes the anatomy kits will change the future of medical education.

“Not everyone has the luxury of having access to real cadavers specimens because of all the problems of handling cadavers, storing cadavers and using them over and over again for teaching purposes,” Professor McMenamin said.

“So the advantage of this is that the students could sit in any classroom and look at this, it’s a dry powder based print but it’s got all the anatomy that a student would need to learn that particular part of anatomy.”

Professor McMenamin runs the Centre for Human Anatomy Education at the university.

He says the initial process isn’t easy: it requires multiple CT scans of a real body part and then up to 12 hours of printing.

Once that’s done, copies are just a click away.

“If you dropped that and it broke you just order another one and we press print,” Professor McMenamin said.

The printed body parts are falsely coloured to help students distinguish between the different parts of the anatomy including the ligaments, muscles and blood vessels.

The real specimens gradually lose their colour the longer they are kept.

Teaching tool

It’s a huge breakthrough particularly for hospitals in developing countries that can’t afford cadavers and for many Middle Eastern countries where accessing them is difficult due to religious reasons.

“There are exceptions for medical schools in that part of the world and they do allow some dissection to occur in medical schools but it’s not without its problems and cultural difficulties,” Professor McMenamin said.

“Then they’ve got to get people to donate their bodies and it’s that bequest program, how do you get a group of people who religiously believe a body should be not desecrated or touched, to donate their bodies?

“So a lot of these countries don’t have bequest programs, they rely on unclaimed bodies and that creates another ethical debate.”

Yousef Sadeghi is a Professor of Neuroanatomy at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran.

He believes the 3D printed anatomy series will be a vital tool for teachers, particularly in Muslim countries.

“That can be very useful for the teaching of anatomy, especially for the universities in our area, like the Middle East,” Professor Sadeghi said.

“We have a little bit problem with dissecting the human body.”

‘Not everyone wants every part of the body’

The Monash team is hoping to have the 3D-printed anatomy kits available for sale within six to nine months.

Medical schools and hospitals around the world will be able to buy just an arm or a foot, or the entire body in a box.

“Not everyone wants every part of the body, you know if you were running a podiatry school you might just want a collection of feet dissected like this and 3D printed or hand therapists might just want copies of our 3D printed hands,” Professor Paul McMenamin said.

The kits are thought to be the first commercially available resource of its kind.

And Professor McMenamin and his team are not stopping there, they’re already working on a way of using 3-D printing technology to teach surgery.

“The skin would have the compliance of real skin, the muscles would feel like real muscles, the tendons would feel like real tendons and then we could create a surgical training tool which could be used over and over again instead of surgeons having to learn by using real patients,” he said.

And he says the technology is closer than you think.

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