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3D Printing for Surgery

I came across this story today. Surgeons in the Netherlands have used a 3D printer to create a new jaw bone for a patient suffering froma bone infection.

Rather than subject the patient to dangerous reconstructive surgery, the doctors designed a new jaw bone in 3D.  It's a complex shape, but 3D printing allowed the surgeons to design the new bone to include articulated joints, areas to encourage the re-growth of muscle and features to house nerves and blood vessels.

Once designed in 3D, the files were sent to Dutch company LayerWise who created the bone from Titanium powder.  The bone has been created layer by layer, adding a small amount of material that then is heated with a laser to fuse the material before repeating for the next layer.  The final finish was created by adding a bioceramic coating.

The full story reads like something out of science fiction, but the applications for this technology must be nearly limitless.  3D printing (or "additive manufacturing" to give it the proper name) has really come of age.


Connector Geek is Dave in real life. With 28 years in the industry, Dave likes talking about connectors almost as much as being a Dad to his two kids. He may still be a kid at heart himself...

7 Feb 2012, 12:13


May 16, 2013 07:52

I've found that when adding symbols and the like to a design, DS doesn't automatically recognise when something uses a style that is already present in the design, so adds another named style. For a design of any size you end up with several tens of styles - mainly text, but also things like pads.

While automatically merging styles would be ideal, if not, could some way to do this manually be added? I'm thinking along the lines of getting a list showing all styles used in the design and allowing the user to select all that are the same size then choose the name they are to be merged as. That would still allow different named styles of the same size to be kept if desired but if you wanted to change all the pin name text (for example) you would only need to change one style, not multiple ones.

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