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Thread: First 3D printed skull implant

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    xerx's Avatar
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    Default First 3D printed skull implant

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...-printed-skull

    A 22-year-old woman from the Netherlands who suffers from a chronic bone disorder -- which has increased the thickness of her skull from 1.5cm to 5cm, causing reduced eyesight and severe headaches -- has had the top section of her skull removed and replaced with a 3D printed implant.

    The operation was performed by a team of neurosurgeons at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and the university claims this is this first instance of a successful 3D printed cranium that has not been rejected by the patient.

    The operation, which took 23 hours, was led by Dr Bon Verweij. The patient's skull was so thick, that had the operation not been performed, serious brain damage or death may have occurred in the near future.

    "It was only a matter of time before critical brain functions were compromised and she would die," said Dr Verweij. Major surgery was inevitable, but prior to the 3D printing technique, there was no ideal effective treatment.


    The skull was made specifically for the patient using an unspecified durable plastic. Since the operation, the patient has gained her sight back entirely, is symptom-free and back to work. It is not known whether the plastic will require replacing at a later date or if it will last a lifetime.

    The lead surgeon had previous experience with 3D reconstructions of skulls, but such a large implant had never been accomplished before. "It is almost impossible to see that she's ever had surgery," said Dr Verweij in the university's official statement.

    It is hoped this technique can also be used for patients with other bone disorders or to repair severely damaged skulls after an accident or tumour.

    The operation was carried out three months ago, but the hospital has only just released details of the surgery. Wired.co.uk got in touch with the university and will publish any further details we recieve.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Queen of the Damned Aylen's Avatar
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    wow...this kinda freaks me out but it is also fascinating. If this can be done now, the future is going to be awesome.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    killer wolf lemontrees's Avatar
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    What is the advantage of making it via 3D printing?

    Is it just to build towards a world where doing these things will be efficient, and low-cost (?)

    Or does 3D printing allows for more control over design and precision (?)

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    xerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemontrees View Post
    What is the advantage of making it via 3D printing?

    Is it just to build towards a world where doing these things will be efficient, and low-cost (?)

    Or does 3D printing allows for more control over design and precision (?)
    A bit of both.


    compared with an assembly line, it's cheaper to build a small number of something with a 3d printer. but ( ! ) it's more expensive to build a huge number of that thing because an assembly line is optimized for mass production:

    assembly lines divide up the work so that each worker has one or two specific tasks along the assembly line. this makes each task more organized and more efficient ( and turns people into unthinking cogs, no better than robots ), but is overkill for small projects and ends up costing more because of the need to set up an assembly line. it's also less flexible because an assembly line is designed to make one thing cheaply.



    3d printing works by building things bottom-up: starting from their basic elements ( like legos ). the alternative manufacturing method is top-down: removing stuff until only the finished product is left ( like a sculptor chipping away at a rock to create a statue ).

    factories do use both, so it's a bit of a misnomer to suggest that 3d printing is some subversive new technology like many advertising agencies do, but modern 3d printing techniques lets you use the bottom-up method on stuff you couldn't before.

    i'm not sure about precision; top-down approaches can have high precision afaik (don't quote me on it though). as for design, it does indeed let you have exact control over what goes into your finished product.



    ok. enough bordering-on-Te brain dumps. time to go wash my brain with some kant. i hope that answers your question though.
    Last edited by xerx; 03-28-2014 at 05:57 AM.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    It has been an ambition of mine for several years to have an exact replica of my skull, and to a lesser extent my whole skeleton.

    (I also have the vanity project of getting a full size oil painting of myself to fit above my double staircase...not sure which one I will obtain first).

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    factories do use both, so it's a bit of a misnomer to suggest that 3d printing is some subversive new technology like many advertising agencies do
    Way to miss the importance of the fact that it is not at the factory.

    The piece of information that made me thing "Living in the sci-fi future now" yesterday was that there are hundreds of thousands of people with digital to neural information implants in the form of cochlear-impants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esaman View Post
    Way to miss the importance of the fact that it is not at the factory.
    um, i'm aware of the revolutionary potential of having a personal 3d printer vis a vis total independence from the industrial system. i was specifically referring to industrial applications, as in the 3d printing analogy can be applied to manufacturing methods that have been in use by industry for years.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    1:0 for science. 3D printing looks promising.

    And it's interesting to consider its implications in different areas...

    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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