At KIDfest on September 24th at the Silver Spring Civic Building, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be showing off 3D printed medical devices including prosthetic hands, orthopedic and dental implants, surgical tools, cardiac implants, and more. At the FDA, their research on 3D printing ensures that 3D printed medical devices are safe and effective.
Making is having a significant impact on public health. The flexibility of 3D printing allows medical device designers create devices matched to a patient’s anatomy (patient-specific devices) or devices with very complex internal structures. These capabilities have sparked huge interest in 3D printing of medical devices.
At the FDA booth, you can design a medical device in virtual reality (VR). The FDA will have an HTC Vive with a user friendly CAD environment so attendees can see what it’s like to design 3D prototypes in VR. They will also have a hobby 3D printer at the table, and kids and adults who win a wheel-spin game will be able to 3D print their own mini medical device model from several real-world options.
The photo displayed is of a 3-D printed skull plate for a cranioplasty – the real medical device is used for patients who need a portion of their skull replaced. Photo by Michael J. Ermarth.