Thursday, 5 September 2013

When 3D Printing is a Matter of Life and Death

Mashable Spotlight

I've personally been involved with advanced manufacturing systems for over 30 years now; and in last 20 odd years 3D Printing (3DP) and additive manufacturing. I saw its birth in 1996 with Chuck Lee's 3D Stereolithography machine printing 3D physical objects. Almost 20 years on 3D printing is still in its infancy and still at the early adopter stage of market adoption and diffusion.

But, it never fails to amaze me what comes out of the blue. Here's a snippet from Mashable Spotlight, which presents in-depth looks at the people, concepts and issues shaping our digital world.

'When Kaiba Gionfriddo was born prematurely on Oct. 28, 2011, everything seemed relatively normal. At 35 weeks, his doctors' main concern was lung development, but Kaiba was breathing just fine. Doctors deemed him healthy enough to send him home within a few days.
Six weeks later, while the Gionfriddo family — parents April and Bryan, and two older siblings — were eating dinner at a restaurant, Kaiba stopped breathing and turned blue. After 10 days in the hospital and another incident, physicians diagnosed the infant with severe tracheobronchomalacia; his windpipe was so weak that his trachea and left bronchus collapsed, preventing crucial airflow from reaching his lungs. So Kaiba underwent a tracheostomy and was put on a ventilator, the typical treatment for his condition.
It didn't work. Almost daily, Kaiba would stop breathing and his heart would stop. The prognosis wasn't good. So his doctors tried something revolutionary: a 3D-printed lung splint that could save his life.'
Click to read rest of article: Link to Mashable Site of 3DP

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