Medical treatments including prostheses, accurate models for surgery and implants are all known and documented applications of 3D printing (with 3D printed organs on the way) that require high precision (and often high cost) 3D printing processes. One aspect that has not yet been sufficiently explored, and that may be a gateway to consumer adoption of 3D printing, is the use of more basic 3D manufacturing technologies to create products that are borderline, that is they can have a medical use but do not necessarily require hard to obtain medical approvals and permits to be used.
One such example was the recently announced made-to-measure insoles or protective masks for physical activity. Another has just been introduced, almost by chance, by the unusual partnership between a British Columbia Art Gallery and a Cancer Treatment Agency.
On request by Piotr Dubrowski, a medical physicist working with a patient suffering from a melanoma on his face, amateur 3D printing artist, Darren Ditto, used a Cube X Duo 3D Printer that had just been acquired by the Two Rivers Art Gallery, to develop a radiotherapy mask for cancer treatment, using a 3D scan of the patient’s face as a model. … (Read more)