Medical & Dental

NewPro 3D and Materialise partner to accelerate 3D printing in medicine

NewPro 3D, a Vancouver-based Direct Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing technology company, has partnered with Materialise, a Belgian software provider, to accelerate the additive manufacturing process for medical models.

With NewPro 3D’s NP1 3D printer, the companies plan to offer a one-stop solution for file preparation that can convert MRI and CT scan data to an STL file for additive manufacturing in approximately 10-15 minutes.

Elsewhere, researchers at the University of California (UC) Davis have designed the first medical 3D imaging full body scanner capable of producing an image in approximately a single second.

NewPro 3D and Materialise

Earlier this year, NewPro 3D introduced the NP1 3D printer. This system uses the company’s patented Intelligent Liquid Interface (ILI) Technology to print end-use materials at a fast pace. ILI is a transparent wettable membrane between the photo-curing resin and the light source. NewPro 3D has designed the membrane to chemically enable faster movement between cured layers.

This technology eliminates the mechanical processes used on conventional additive manufacturing techniques allowing objects to be produced at “record-breaking speeds.” At RAPID + TCT 2018, the NP1 was shown to 3D print a 22cm long midsole in 2 hours and 10 minutes, a fraction of the time taken using SLA.

Following its collaboration with Materialise, NewPro 3D’s Beta phase, the improved NP1 printers have been tested by the Radiology Department at Stanford University, the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, and Division of Cardiology at the University of Washington. Gabriel Castanon, COO at NewPro 3D said:

“We are now fully confident in the NP1 system [and] we will be delivering to customers in 2019. It is an exciting time for 3D printing in medical.”

First total-body 3D scanner

UC Davis scientists Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi have developed EXPLORER, a combined positron emission tomography (PET) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner that can create 3D images of the entire body simultaneously.

The machine is made to capture radiation more efficiently than other scanners and can produce movies that can track specially tagged drugs as they move around the entire body. The scanner was developed in partnership with United Imaging Healthcare (UIH), based in Shanghai, who aims to eventually manufacture the devices for the broader healthcare market.

The first images from the scanner were shown at the Radiological Society of North America meeting last week. Badawi, Chief of Nuclear Medicine at UC Davis Health and Vice-Chair for research in the Department of Radiology explained:

“The level of detail was astonishing, especially once we got the reconstruction method a bit more optimized. We could see features that you just don’t see on regular PET scans. And the dynamic sequence showing the radiotracer moving around the body in three dimensions over time was, frankly, mind-blowing. There is no other device that can obtain data like this in humans, so this is truly novel.”

The researchers are currently using the EXPLORER to in medical studies to demonstrate how it can benefit patients and contribute to inform others of the whole human body in health and disease.

A 3D scan from the EXPLORER. Clip via UC Davis.
A 3D scan from the EXPLORER. Clip via UC Davis.

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Featured image shows DLP technology from NewPro 3D. Photo via NewPro 3D.