Successful Surgery Leads to First 3D Printed Shoulder Replacement in Croatia

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A 60-year-old man in Croatia had been suffering from an infection in his shoulder, resulting in him losing a great deal of bone mass and most of the function in the joint. His level of function, in fact, was down to about 30% – but after a successful surgery, he’s expected to regain 80% of his shoulder’s original function. In addition to regaining the use of his shoulder, the man also made history, becoming the first person in Croatia to receive a 3D printed shoulder joint.

The surgical team that implanted the 3D printed shoulder was led by Nikola Matejčić, MD at the Clinic for Orthopaedics in Lovran.

“The latest technological advancements in design of osseointegrating implant segments were used,” Dr. Matejčić explained. “The implant was created using a technology of additive manufacturing, namely the Trabecular Titanium 3D printing technology which represents a revolution in production of medical implants.”

Trabecular Titanium is a proprietary 3D printing biomaterial developed by Italian company Lima Corporate. Its structure mimics that of trabecular bone, and its porosity enhances cell migration and vascularization, facilitating the transport of oxygen, nutrients, ions and bone inducing factors, encouraging the formation of new bone. 3D printed using Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology, Trabecular Titanium components can be fabricated in any geometry, meaning that it’s easy to create patient-specific implants.

The surgery took about three hours and the patient is now recovering nicely and is expected to be discharged by the end of the week. The operation was a collaborative effort, said Dr. Matejčić, with the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka, the Clinical Hospital Centre in Rijeka and its Department of Radiology, and the Centre for Biomedical Modeling and Innovations in Medicine all working together.

While this surgery was the first in the country involving the implantation of a 3D printed shoulder joint, it wasn’t the first to utilize 3D printing for this clinic. At the beginning of this year, the clinic implanted a 3D printed pelvic joint, and is impressed with the ability of the technology to repair highly damaged joints and restore normal function.

“The 3D printing technology really marks a new age in orthopaedics and medicine in general,” said Branko Šestan, MD, Director of the Clinic for Orthopaedics. “Up until a few years ago, this would have been considered science fiction, as we’ve never thought an entire joint could be reconstructed this way.”

It’s true that until recently, few people would believe that a major joint could be replaced by a 3D printed one, much less that the 3D printed replacement would allow function comparable to that of a normal healthy joint. Now, however, these stories are everywhere. A woman in France had her shoulder restored through 3D printing not long ago, and similar implants have been made in the Netherlands, in China and elsewhere. As 3D printing continues to approach the point at which it’s considered mainstream in the medical field, it’s stories like these that encourage the general public to have faith that this technology really is the future of medicine, so they can be aware of options that can help them.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts below. 

[Source: Total Croatia News / Images: Novilist]

JGAURORA 3D printer X Axis System Including 2 Printed Parts 6 Bearings 2 Polish Rods

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Five fun 3D printing projects & life hacks: 3D printed baby monitor, BalloonVase, MNT Reform …

Nov 19, 2017 | By Benedict

Putting together a 3D printing project is a surprisingly great way to relax, so print away the stresses of school or work with these five cool 3D printing projects, each of which can make your day-to-day life a little easier or simply more enjoyable.

3D printed Raspberry Pi baby monitor

We start with a project for the tech-savvy parents out there: a 3D printed Raspberry Pi baby monitor. Dmitry Ivanov’s “Fruitnanny” consists of a Raspberry Pi 3, a NoIR camera, iPhone lens, microphone, and several other electronic components housed within a 3D printed shell. It’s got all the functionality (and more) of standard off-the-shelf baby monitors, but also gives you an excuse to play on the computer for a bit rather than change diapers.

Designed in SketchUp, the 3D printed baby monitor case was successful at the third attempt (with help from Ivanov’s friend Christos) following a couple of designs that didn’t print properly. The 3D printed parts include a main case, top cover, cap, and specially designed cradle for a DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor.

“At the beginning I thought it would be an easy task, probably someone already had built something similar,” Ivanov says. “Google found dozens of projects but none of them had real-time audio and video capabilities which I wanted to have in my project.”

Those looking to replicate Ivanov’s clever little device—with video capabilities and much, much more—can explore his project here.

3D printed balloon vase widget

If you’ve just had a baby, you’re likely to be receiving a lot of flowers in the near future, if you haven’t already. You might even have thrown a baby shower that required lots of balloons. So why not 3D print yourself a little plastic widget that lets you turn ordinary party balloons into rubber vases?

Designed by Evan Gant, the BalloonVase is a surprisingly clever little life hack: the balloon suspended over the 3D printed device looks small and flaccid when it’s empty, but add a few cups of water to the empty balloon and it expands to just the right size to hold a small bunch of flowers. Simple but brilliant.

Sadly, this one’s more BIY than DIY, since Grant wants you to get the widget through Shapeways, but we’re sure that talented makers out there could try designing their own. Then again, it’s only around $13—cheaper than most ceramic vases out there.

3D printed CB radio dashboard mount

Citizens band radio is a short-distance radio communications network used to transmit and receive messages over short distances—a bit like using a walkie talkie. It’s used in disaster relief operations and other areas of work that require a convoy of vehicles.

Unfortunately, most cars aren’t build to accommodate CB radio equipment, which can be a problem since CB users generally need to use a handheld microphone to transmit messages. These days, it’s all about bluetooth iPhone connections and other luxuries, which are admittedly quite useful but which really don’t make you feel like you’re in an action movie.

CB radios do though, and Alex Loizou, who drives a Subaru Forester, 3D printed his own dashboard CB radio mount that replaces a decorative trim piece in his vehicle. The custom adapter was designed using TinkerCAD, and holds both the microphone and handheld transmitter of Loizou’s radio.

Choosing a dark filament for his print, Loizou even managed to make his 3D printed hack blend in with his Subaru dash. A nice touch, for sure.

Take a look at the project here. Again, there’s no link to any downloadable STL files, but the comprehensive photo gallery should provide plenty of inspiration to drivers who use CB radios.

3D printed ‘MNT Reform’ vintage laptop

The MNT Reform is a modular, open source laptop made with 3D printed parts and inspired by classic PCs like the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. Designed by Lukas F. Hartmann, the fun computer uses a quad-core NXP i.MX6 QuadPlus SoC, an off-the-shelf RC 7.4V LiPo battery, and LCD screen. It weighs 1.5 kg including the battery, which isn’t so bad considering how incredibly bulky it looks.

“The first prototype of Reform is quite a brick,” Hartmann admits. “While it is only 28 cm wide and 17.5 cm deep, its complete height including the display adds up to 5.5 cm to accommodate for all the connectors of the development board and to allow room for experimentation before shrinking everything down.”

According to its designers, the MNT Reform is made using a variety of 3D printers, including Formlabs resin 3D printers, which were used to fabricate parts of the keyboard.

And this 3D printability is one of the many ways that the MNT Reform allows users to get more closely involved with their computer.

“I understand that most people want a digital appliance to get out of the way and make their lives easier,” Hartmann says. “But I know that there are some who would like to better understand and take control of their device—for reasons of security, curiosity, or the desire for personal customization and hackability.”

You can get hacking yourself over at the MNT Reform website.

3D printed cable-bot flying camera

If there’s one device more important for your household than a baby monitor, it’s surely a flying video camera for keeping tabs on your, er, tabby. Micah Elizabeth Scott’s 3D printed “Tuco Flyer” is a cable-driven camera rig designed exclusively for filming Scott’s cat, Tuco.

“My cat Tuco co-stars on my electronics and reverse engineering streams, but really, he deserves his own show,” Scott explains. “This project is a robotic camera for my cat, which will stream on Twitch with interactive control. The robot consists of a moving ‘flyer’ portion with a camera, gimbal, and sensors. Four ‘winch bots’ hoist it around the room on cords from the top corners.”

See the cat-tracking device in all its cable-driven, 3D printed glory here. Scott’s GitHub repository for the project allows makers to edit the Tuco Flyer CAD designs and modify them to their own specifications.

And while you’re making your cat the center of attention, why not dress him or her up in 3D printed cat armor too?

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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Blizzident introduces 3D printed flossing device that lets users floss 'with just one bite'

Nov 6, 2017 | By Tess

3D printing has had a big impact on the dental industry and is being used for a number of applications in the field, ranging from customized teeth aligners to custom dental implants. What we never expected, however, was for 3D printing to revolutionize the chore of flossing.

Blizzident, a dental 3D printing company has developed a patent-pending device that could do just that. Called the “3D-Flosser,” this new 3D printed device reportedly enables users to floss all their teeth “with just one bite.”

Blizzident claims its 3D printed flossing device is custom designed to the user’s mouth so that when he or she bites down, the floss is inserted between the teeth as per a dentist’s recommendations.

As the company explains, “The 3D-Flosser design prevents you from biting into the floss too deep. It just lets you bite until the floss is ca. 2 mm deep into the region between gums and teeth (the “Gingival Sulcus”): exactly how it is recommended by dentists.”

While we’re not sure if the 3D printed device will really convince non-flossers to pick up the habit—even though it would be significantly faster than traditional tooth-by-tooth flossing—the 3D-Flosser will surely appeal to those who follow dental hygiene trends closely.

The 3D-Flosser concept is pretty straightforward: clients send a 3D scan or impression of their mouths to Blizzident, which then customizes a plastic 3D printed frame for the flossing device. Two wheels of floss can then be inserted into the device and floss can be strung through the frame. The user would then simply have to bit into the device to floss.

“The tailored 3D-Flosser positions floss exactly where it needs to be between all your teeth,” says Blizzident. “By biting into it the floss moves between all your teeth until the gumline is reached, thus removing a lot of dirt already. Grinding left/right and forward/backwards a bit now moves all the rest out.”

The 3D printed flossing device is a follow-up to the company’s controversial 3D-Toothbrush, which it released in 2013 and which it claimed could brush a user’s teeth in just six seconds. This contraption, which also resembled something from a torture museum, uses a similar concept in that it is essentially a 3D printed mold based off the user’s mouth which integrates about 800 bristles.

Blizzident’s 3D-Toothbrush

Blizzident is offering its custom 3D printed flossing solution through its website for the price of $199 and €199. The company claims the 3D-Flosser can be used about 500 times before the floss rolls need replacing and that the plastic frame should last “many years”.

If you’re doing the mental math now, it probably doesn’t quite add up, considering you can buy rolls of old school manual floss for about a dollar, but again, if you’re someone who is up-to-date on all new dental trends and tricks, the 3D-Flosser might be of interest.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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