3D printing is an innovative technology that lets you create a physical object from a digital model. 3D printers offer amazing results and let you create anything you can imagine.
3D printing is also called additive manufacturing, because unlike the traditional subtractive manufacturing, 3D printing doesn’t remove material, it adds it, layer after layer. In order to print something, first you’ll need a 3D model of the object you want to create, which you can design in a 3D modeling program (CAD - Computer Aided Design), or use a 3D scanner to scan the object you want to print.
Once your design’s ready, all you need to do is import it into print software. It will then turn your design into a gcode file ready to be printed as a physical object. Although there are several 3D printing technologies, most of them create the object by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. Usually, desktop 3D printers use plastic filaments (1) which are fed into the printer by the feeder (2). The filament is melted in the print head (3) which extrudes the material onto the build plate (4) creating your object layer by layer. Once the printer starts printing, all you have to do is wait – it’s that easy
It’s been proven that the interaction doctors have with patients is fundamental to helping them cope with their condition, as it gives them a deeper insight. However, should the patient require an operation of great complexity, such as having a brain tumor removed, they can experience confusion when talking things through with their neurosurgeon. It can be hard for the doctor to clearly explain the surgical plan and risks. 3D printing is able to play its part in this process by creating models taken from the same MRI scans, acting as a powerful tool to help patients visually understand their problem in three dimensions, what treatment is needed and the risks involved.