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3D Print A $21 Artificial Heart!

Azom reports on a startling new development in medical technology from two teams of scientists from Europe.  Doctor of Engineering Tadeusz Pustelny led a team from the Department of Optoelectronics of the Silesian University of Technology (SUT) in collaboration with Doctor of Engineering Krzysztof Murawski, Doctor of Engineering Leszek Grad, and Doctor of Engineering Artur Arciuch, who led a team of researchers from the Faculty of Cybernetics of the Military University of Technology (MUT) in Warsaw, Poland.

These two teams have developed a 3D printed artificial heart.  “These researchers have printed four models of artificial hearts that have been utilized in tests in which specific algorithms were applied to test the efficiency of the models…the models developed by the team are inspired by the pump for the pneumatic heart assistance device called Religa EXT, which is considered to be a modernized and more efficient version of the POLVAD heart.”

Often, these sorts of traditionally manufactured artificial hearts can cost upwards of $130,000 – but due to these scientists’ hard work and dedication and the wonders of 3D printing – this additively manufactured artificial heart is far, far cheaper!  Only $21 to be exact!

“The artificial heart model is comprised of several parts, including air and blood chambers which were 3D printed on the Zortrax M200 3D printer with Z-PETG and Z-ULTRAT.  The first material was also used to produce a mold to cast the diaphragms.  The process was divided into three stages: firstly, the model of a diaphragm was developed in a modeling program; next the total volume of the diaphragm was examined, and then the 3D printing of the cast for silicone molds prepared.”

“The Zortrax 3D printer also enabled the team to create a model of the chamber.  The additive manufacturing technology enabled all the parts to be developed in a rapid, cost-effective manner, enabling the teams to speed up their study and still stay within their budget.”

Zortrax concludes on these fascinating experiments: “the case of the artificial heart effectively demonstrates the significant potential of 3D printing in producing essential medical equipment which helps improve the study of life-saving devices.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Azom and Zortrax

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