Being a leading medical product design firm in North America, MAKO uses new and cutting edge technologies to advance the medical industry. On discovering the latest advancements in 3-D printing for a medical product designing firm known as “shape shifting”, it was good for them.
Shape Shifting 3-D Printing
Engineers recently designed a 3-D printed plastic that could change their shape on being triggered. Earlier, the material would need external manipulations to give a new shape. With this new method, it’s done in the printer using material manipulations.
How Do 4-D Printing Work
The researchers used two types of materials which are carefully mixed in the 3D-printed structure to create desired shape-shifting effect. A soft material holds the energy that cause shape-change but in the cool state, the energy of the soft material is held by another, stiff material which is like glass. This stiff material softens when exposed to heat, helping the soft polymer to take over. The material is made to remember the second shape and default to it when being heated. 4D-printing techniques prior could create materials that could change their shape temporarily, and later came back to original shape.
4-D Printing in Medical Product Design
So how it applies to a medical product design firm like MAKO? Objects that could change shape within seconds after being exposed to heat in it says that it’s a new technique that could be used to design medical devices that help in body during surgical procedures. For a medical product design firm, it shows a new layer of opportunity around product functionality, usage, and application by the end user. Products can be designed to take on several forms and configurations, instead of just one.
With the complexities that 3-D printing, objects like bones, organs, and medical devices could be easily be made for patients.
E.g. Devices like tiny tubes (stents) which is used to make the arteries wide to prevent strokes and heart disease would be a great subject for this novel technology. With this shape shifting technique, the device could be influenced by a human’s body temperature to expand instead of using an external medical procedure.
Though this advancement comes with a promise, the technology is yet in preliminary phases with more research to be done.
With this we conclude. To know more, keep visiting our website.
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