3D Printing

Anatomy According to Da Vinci — 3D Printed & On Show in Edinburgh

The WMG (or Warwick Manufacturing Group) is one of the original academic institutions to work with 3D printing technologies in its earliest forms. I know this because when I started working on Rapid News Magazine, which spun out of WMG, *cough* years ago, there were still strong connections between the two organisations. Even just writing this introduction, I am wondering where Mr Lee Styger, among others, is now and what he is up to?

Today the WMG is still working on fascinating 3D printing projects and one of the latest is a feature at the current Edinburgh International Festival’s (EIFs) ‘Leonardo da Vinci: Mechanics of Man’ exhibition.  Indeed Dr Greg Gibbons, Head of Additive Layer Manufacturing at WMG and his team have worked collaboratively with the Warwick Medical School to create translucent 3D plastinations that use Leonardo Da Vinci’s original drawings of the human anatomy.

The 3D printed exhibition piece, depicting a heart, is on show next to Da Vinci’s 500 year old drawings, and 3D scans. The model of the heart was generated by transferring an MRI image into an STL file and 3D printed.

Dr Greg Gibbons said, “It’s great to see this technology moving into different areas; and the interface between arts, humanities, medicine and engineering.”

And exhibition collaborator Peter Abrahams, Professor of Clinical Anatomy at Warwick Medical School, said, “The anatomical accuracy of Leonardo’s drawings has rarely ever been surpassed, and I still use them to teach surgeons and medical students today. Hopefully this exhibition will introduce the audience to both the anatomical drawings of da Vinci and how engineering is shaping the future of medical imaging.”

The exhibition ‘Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man’ is at The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse from 2 August – 10 November 2013, and is part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

You can watch a WMG video about the project here.