3D printing is now being incorporated into many healthcare fields such as dentistry, occupational and physiotherapy, veterinary medicine, orthopedics, prosthetics, and several surgical fields. To understand how 3D printing can be applied to healthcare fields, an understanding of 3D printing capabilities is necessary. Please view the following links for just some of the applications 3D printing can have for healthcare at a local and global scale.
1. 3D4MD Founder, Chairman, CEO Julielynn Wong speaks about 3D printing in healthcare, her company’s innovative 3D printing solutions, and needs in healthcare moving forward: https://youtu.be/VZVJDYV2WgM
6. OLT Footcare – a local 3D scanning and printing company supplying custom footwear, prescription orthotics and braces worldwide, and is one of our event sponsors: http://www.oltfoot.com/
Congratulations! Now that you’ve decided to participate in Print for Healthcare, you might be asking yourself, what do I do now?! First, register for our kick-off event (include link) on October 31st at EPICentre’s EPIC Industrial Hub. Whether you have a team together or not, this event will help put the entire competition into perspective, provide you with more education about 3D printing in healthcare, introduce you to leading healthcare professionals, companies, and 3D printers in our area, and provide you with a free light breakfast!
After this event, you will have hopefully joined a team, or will have had a team established already. Once you have your team, please fill out the online registration HERE and email it to Sydney Thompson: email@example.com.
Now that you are registered, begin the innovation process. Develop your idea through research and experience. Once you have a device idea, draw it out and start to design it. Be as specific as you can. If you have CAD and 3D printing design experience, please use this to your advantage here! If you do not, please contact Sydney Thompson and she will put you in touch with one of our 3D printing sponsors who will work with you to create the device that you have envisioned. If you are able to create a 3D printable file but do not have access to a printer, please let Sydney know as well.
Once you have your device printed, it is time to create your final showcase display. Your final display will include your printed device along with any other materials you need to effectively communicate the following:
1. The need for your device or use of 3D printing in a specified healthcare field
2. How your device successfully addresses the identified need
3. Your commercialization strategy for your device, highlighting why you believe healthcare providers and/or healthcare companies would be interested in adopting your device
Your Innovation Process
How to Develop a Device Idea
The most innovative ideas come from being able to identify a problem as specifically as possible, with the most amount of detail. Try this exercise with your team. Each of you get your own pen and piece of paper. Once you have them, each of you draw a sunset. *30 seconds drawing time*. Now, look at everyone’s pictures. Do they all look relatively similar or different? Now, everyone back to your pens and paper for round 2. This time, each of you draw the last sunset you remember. *30 seconds drawing time*. Now look at everyone’s pictures. Do they all look relatively similar or different? Do they all have relatively less or more detail and creativeness than the first set of drawings?
This is just a simple example illustrating that if you have a generally defined problem or task, you will create generic solutions. The more specificity you can bring to your problem or task, the more unique and innovative your solutions can become.
So how do you identify a problem with specificity? Many people will do this through experience. You may have had a friend or family member in need of healthcare treatment that wasn’t as ideal as it could have been. Take these experiences, identify the problem and why it occurred with as much detail as possible. From this exploration, you will begin to develop ideas as to how 3D printing might be able to address these specific problems. Alternatively, you can do some research. You can also reach out to family, friends, or healthcare professionals and speak with them about the state of patient care and device limitations they may have. Continue to ask thoughtful questions to as many people as you can until you have been able to define a clear problem that you feel you can effectively address.
The device presented in your showcase display will be:
1. An actual device or a unique method of using 3D printing in healthcare
2. 3D printed in its entirety OR a significant functional portion will be 3D printed thus creating an advantage over comparable non-3D printed devices
3. Full-size OR a scaled-down prototype
4. Fully functional and ready to use OR a working prototype accompanied by complete designs and descriptions of its use to convey the end-product
5. Directly applicable to front-line patient healthcare OR a research tool that will directly impact patient care