Rapid prototyping machine manufacturers Objet have provided one of their Connex500 cutting edge 3D printing systems to a new partnership between medical and engineering researchers from the University of Warwick's Institute of Digital Healthcare and Rapid Prototyping technology specialists Industrial Plastic Fabrications Ltd.
The partnership aims to take advantage of the latest advances in prototyping machine technology that can now, in a single build process, print parts and assemblies made of several materials with differing mechanical and physical properties. This allows for the production of highly accurate anatomical models that go far beyond being a simple single rigid block of plastic. Now medics can, in just one pass through a rapid prototyping machine, produce a 3D replica of a body part which can display several different elements - for instance skin, blood vessels, muscles etc. - in a range of different colours and textures.
Dr. Greg Gibbons, from the University of Warwick's Institute of Digital Healthcare, stated: "The partnership brings together medical researchers and technologists from the University of Warwick's Institute of Digital Healthcare with one of the leading companies working in this sector. The partnership will have one of the few machines capable of producing this advanced form of rapid prototyping. This is a unique combination in Europe which will certainly produce significant practical advances in this area of health care technology."