Desktop 3D Printing for Medical Applications


For most of us, the idea of using 3D printing in medical applications evokes thoughts of
multi-million dollar investment due to the latest amazing benefits brought by technology.
Little did we know that desktop 3D printers are now finding their ways into hospitals as
well.

David Escobar is a Simulation Specialist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre based in Los
Angeles, California. He is an experienced Emergency Medical Technician with several
years of Emergency Department experience, and he has a true passion for helping
patients. That’s why a year ago, he began his journey in combining his very passion
with his zeal for technology, more precisely, 3D printing. And for this purpose, he was
given the opportunity to introduce 3D printing to his department at the hospital.

Based on an interview, David started using 3D printing just a year ago. The news that
tackled about the various benefits of the technology in medical field had awakened
something inside him. These ignited his passion in regards to pre-surgical planning for
patients. He instantly knew that simulation centre would benefit greatly as well with this
system. Physicians can use 3D printing for pre-surgical planning, building replacement
parts for our equipment and developing prototypes for new skills trainers.

The most interesting part of David’s journey is that he’s using desktop FDM and SLA
technology, not industrial type 3D printers. He had a lot of trial methods, being
inexperienced when it comes to using the technology. Aside from this, he was also
unaware of the different printers and materials available.

As with any healthcare organization, David knew that cost is always a factor when
starting a new program. While industrial grade 3D printers offer greater selection of
materials and options they also come with a significantly higher price tag. However, he
is able to accomplish a majority of what is being asked by physicians and other users.

The precise objective why he wants to bring 3D printing initiative in hospitals is for for
pre-surgical/procedure planning using patient CT or MRI scans and converting .dicom
files to.stl files for 3D printing, for rapid prototype development; whether in designing
new training models or improving existing trainers to better suit the needs.

Based on the story Desktop 3D Printing in Medicine by 3D Printing for Beginners