Exploring the Value of Multi-Print 3D Models for Medical with Stratasys & Intermountain Healthcare

PADT’s Salt Lake City office has been involved with fulfillment of medical 3d Printing of several cases where customers are exploring the value of multi-color and multi-material medical 3D models by using the Stratasys J750 or the Connex 3. One of those cases was presented at the Mayo Clinic’s Collaborative 3D Printing in Medical Practice 2018 course, which was held in Arizona this year.

An Intermountain Healthcare facility in Salt Lake City needed help with 3D printing a patient-specific anatomy, as they were looking to better their understanding of the value of 3D printing using multi-color printer beyond their existing in-house capabilities. In the picture below, Rami Shorti, PhD., a senior Biomechanical Engineering Scientist at Intermountain Healthcare, wrote:

“A patient with a horseshoe kidney and multiple large symptomatic stones, who had failed Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy and Ureteroscopy Treatment, was used to evaluate the benefit of using different imaging modalities intraoperatively.” 

Working with us in Salt Lake City, Rami Shorti, PhD, prepared the patient-specific medical imaging segmentation, post-processing of the patient anatomy, and finally generated for us a 3D printable CAD model that we were able to print using a Stratasys Objet 260 Connex 3. Since our office is located just around the corner from the hospital, we were able to work closely with Rami to identify the colors and finish of the final part.

The Connex 3 printer was introduced in 2014 as the only printer in the world that could combine three different model materials in a single print pass. Most 3D printers can only print with one material at a time, which is one of the main reasons why this technology is preferred for medical use cases along with its added precision. In 2017, Stratasys introduced the J750, which again is an industry first, becoming the only printer in the world that can print 6 different materials at the same time.  Combinations of hard plastics and rubber materials allow for a range of shore hardness values along with the ability to mix three primary colors to print 500,000 different colors.

With a quick turnaround needed, we decided to use the Connex 3 and were amazed that we were able to print the parts in two batches. Within 48 hours of receiving the STL files from Dr. Shorti, we were able to 3D print, post-process, and deliver the parts in time for the surgeon to review the time-sensitive surgical planning guides using the mockup. To enhance the transparency of the parts, we simply applied a few coats of Rust-Oleum Clear Gloss to the 3D printed part.  Now we were able to relax and wait for it to dry.  Below is a picture of the finished products displayed at the Mayo Clinic event.

 “3D printing added a level of benefit because of its ability to showcase the stones, renal pelvis, and renal arteries and veins simultaneously through the image fusion step done in Mimics software and with the use of specific materials and contrasting colors.  In addition, its ability to be held and manipulated in space was observed to be beneficial especially for patient education.”

– Rami Shorti, PhD., senior Biomechanical Engineering Scientist, Intermountain Healthcare

PADT is excited to continue our work with Intermountain Healthcare, and grow this relationship as new opportunities arise to leverage multi-material printing.

Kidneys and Child Hearts – Our Recent Real World Experiences with 3D Printing in Medicine

Mostly we make boxes.  Pretty boxes but the bulk of what we 3D Print is some sort of plastic box that people stuff electronics in to. Most of the time we also don’t really know what customers do with the objects we make for them.  But every once in a while you get involved in a project that really makes a difference. That could not be more true than two recent medical applications for 3D Printing that we worked on with Intermountain Healthcare (IHC) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

KSL, a local TV station, did a story on our IHC was deploying 3D Printing to produce better outcomes for their patients. You can view the story here.

PADT was fortunate enough to be part of two of the cases mentioned in the story.  The first was a St George man who was feeling some pain in his back. He had a scan and they found 12 kidney stones.  On top of that, his kidney was not in the right place and was distorted.  PADT helped print a model of the scan so that the doctors could just get a real feel for what they were dealing with, and then plan the surgery.

The second situation really pulled at our heart strings.  A 10 year old boy needs heart surgery and its a complicated problem. They need a model fast so we worked with Stratasy to quickly print an accurate model so tha the surgeons could come up with a plan. We still have not heard how it went, they are scheduling things, but the feedback from the team was that the 3D model was extremely helpful.  We are talking life saving.

Both of these recent situations build on years of examples where we have worked the doctors and their technical assistance to convert scans of patients into usable 3D Models. If you are in the surgery or surgery planning space and want to learn more about how accurate 3D models printed directly from scan data can be used to improve patient outcome, contact PADT at info@padtinc.com and we will connect you with our 3D Printing team.