New 3-D Printer. TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — With a slight hum and some occasional movement, the FormLabs SLA 3-D printer is doing something extraordinary. It’s building human body parts, at least a model of them.
“All of the major advances that we’re seeing today involve electronics; they also involve 3-D printing, which is very exciting,” said Nathan Pritchett, executive director of Fab Lab Tulsa.
Until recently, 3-D printing was a bit of a novelty. You’d make little trinkets with it. That’s changing rapidly, and the new 3-D printer Fab Lab is speeding things along. The difference between an old 3-D printer and this new one is enormous. The amount of detail you can do now is impressive, for example, it can make your inner ear. The camera can’t even focus on it because it’s so small.
“When I went through medical school, we had textbooks with literally artist renditions of organs and body parts that we learned on,” said Dr. Joseph Cunningham with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Things have changed quite a bit, and the modern medical student can now come to the Fab Lab and mock up, say, a vertebrae.
“What we’re hoping is that they’ll use these technologies more as they move throughout their career,” said Pritchett.