Medical & Dental

University Hospital of Basel ramps up medical 3D printing with axial3D integration

University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland, has entered into a 3D printing alliance with UK based medical technology firm axial3D.

Focusing on quality control, the hospital is to introduce the axial3Dassure platform to its in-house 3D Print Lab. Through its application, axial3D promises to help to cut production times and maximize the efficiency of the facility’s 3D printed anatomical models and surgical guide production.

Daniel Crawford, CEO and Founder of axial3D, comments, “We are very excited to be working with the team at University Hospital Basel. They are a leading force in medical 3D printing, not just in Europe, but globally, and this alliance will ensure the expertise they have developed can support our company’s growth by informing the ongoing development of axial3D’s software solutions.”

“[…] With a growing requirement for 3D printing within healthcare, a centralized management platform is necessary for any 3D print lab, which plans to scale and grow in the coming years.

University Hospital of Basel 3D Print Lab

A well established facility, the University Hospital of Basel’s 3D Print Lab houses more than 20 desktop and industrial 3D printers, including a Stratasys PolyJet system. It is co-directed by Dr. Florian M. Thieringer, and Dr. Philipp Brantner.

Speaking of the facility’s foundations, Dr. Brantner, who is also Senior Physician in Cardiac and Thoracic Diagnistics at the hospital says, “Our initial focus for the use of 3D printed surgical guides was within the Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery where 3D printing has now become routine.”

Now, he adds, “Having access to onsite printing has revolutionized how we treat those patients, some who arrive with life-threatening injuries that require immediate action.”

Example procedures that have benefited directly from work at the 3D Print Lab encompass surgeries for the heart, skull, and hips, particularly those concerned with the removal of tumors.

A 3D printed model of a hip bone used to help determine the fit of a medical implant. Photo via 3D Print Lab, University Hospital of Basel
A 3D printed model of a hip bone used to help determine the fit of a medical implant. Photo via 3D Print Lab

Standardizing with axial3Dassure

Though the 3D Print Lab at the University Hospital of Basel has been in operation for some years now, axial3D’s offering aims to improve the services it provides.

As detailed by Crawford,”Our software will help the hospital gain insight into the statistics and figures usually hidden within data, ultimately allowing them to measure clinical impact and value 3D printing is having for patients.”

Additionally, within axial3Dassure the company has integrated its orthopedic auto-segmentation software module, which will expedite the processing of digital files required for 3D printing, “while ensuring auditability, reliability and standardization.”

Part tracing and digital communication will also be made possible by axial3Dassure.

On site 3D printing in hospitals

On site 3D printing facilities are a growing trend within the healthcare sector on a global scale. In the U.S. Stratasys in particular has been introducing its 3D printers to Veterans Hospitals. In the UK, the NHS has supported efforts to bring 3D printing facilities on site, including facilities run by startup 3D LifePrints.

Large 3D printer OEMs are also chasing this vertical with new releases, as in the 3D Systems Figure 4 configuration, which won the 2018 3D Printing Industry Medical/Dental Application of the Year.

Could this be 2019’s award-winning medical application of 3D printing? Make your nominations now for the 3D Printing Industry Awards. Voting opens in March 2019.

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Featured image shows 3D printed medical model. Photo via axial3D