3D printing looks to future growth through ultra-realistic medical models.
3D printing has seen a surge in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Stratasys, the historic global leader in the manufacture of additive systems based in the United States, has multiplied its efforts to respond to the crisis.
Today, the Stratasys 3D printing ecosystem includes 3D printers, materials, software, expert services and on-demand component manufacturing, which have been made available to combat the pandemic.
In Europe, the University Hospital Trust (AP-HP) of Paris purchased and installed 60 Stratasys F123 industrial 3D printers at the end of March to create a fast-response internal supply chain. The printers have been used to produce masks, face shields, electric syringe pumps and breathing valves, with a plan in place for future use as well. Aside from the pandemic, dozens of hospitals in Europe now use Stratasys printers internally.
Functional 3D medical models
Stratasys recently launched a platform, the J750 Digital Anatomy Printer, designed to replicate real tissue response. An evolutionary step beyond the traditional visual model, the 3D printer enables interaction with materials that mimic real human tissue and bone. To date, digital materials for bones (BoneMatrix), soft organs (TissueMatrix) and vascular models (GelMatrix) have been developed in collaboration with medical device manufacturers, world-class research institutes, hospitals and medical personnel. Their realism is such that fine vascular structures, for example, can be created down to a single millimeter in internal diameter and wall thickness.