Jun 17, 2016 | By Tess

As we’ve seen, time and time again, 3D printing has offered trainees and professionals in the medical field an advanced and tactile way of interacting with surgical plans and models. 3D printed plastic organs, bones, and anatomies have helped surgeons and doctors prepare for complex procedures, and have helped doctors in training to become better acquainted with the human body. San Draw, Inc., a 3D printing solutions company, is hoping to further 3D printing’s capability to help medical education through its innovative new 3D printing system, FAM.

FAM, which stands for Full-color, Adjustable hardness, and Multi-material 3D printing, is a system developed by San Draw’s founders, Gary Chang and Michael Lu, two graduates from Stanford University. The innovative 3D printing system is designed to create multi-color models out of silicone, a flexible and tactile material that can be made to resemble skin and other organic materials, perfect for educating medical students, patients, and even more.

As the company told 3Ders, “Medical education often depends on diagrams and what’s found in books. However, students and patients want something that they can hold in their hands to truly understand the shape and function. This is where FAM Technology can make a considerable impact.”

As mentioned, FAM technology, which draws from CMYK inkjet printing, is capable of 3D printing in full color. Because the 3D printer uses silicone, which it solidifies from liquid to solid form, thus not necessitating melting the material, the machine can also print at different hardnesses. This is achieved by adjusting the model’s internal stucture, and by changing the type of silicone. As the company points out, this last feature is not achievable with FDM 3D printing technologies, which cannot have different hardnesses even with varying infill densities.

San Draw’s FAM 3D printer has a relatively large print volume of 300 x 200 x 150 mm, and is capable of combining different types of silicone material into a single print. And while the technology has broad applications across a number of fields, San Draw’s central focus has been on the medical industry because of the advantages 3D printing in silicone can offer it. The company has even stated that they hope to one day introduce 3D printed silicone implants.

San Draw recently presented its FAM 3D printing technology at CES Asia, which was held in Shanghai this past May. There, the company demonstrated their silicone 3D printing, and presented the benefits their technology could have for the medical community, by allowing for life-like and malleable surgical and training models. While their 3D printing system is not on the market, the company is offering its technology as a service.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

 

 

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