3ntr additive solutions have proven to be easy and extremely reliable in the medical field thanks to the 3 extruder technology that has allowed to provide tactile tools to students with visual disabilities, in order to integrate their residual visual information with multi-color and multi-material media.
An excellent result of how the 3D printing revolutionizes the medical field, born from the collaboration between the Laboratory of Microcomputing and Electromedical Instrumentation and the Center for Assistance Services and Integration Of Disabled Students of the University of Pavia; 3ntr printers are already present as a valuable support for the Additive Manufacturing for Advanced Materials project.
The aim of the work was to create 3D prints of microscope glass slides, with varying sizes and magnification compared to the original ones, with the aim of providing additional tactile support to visually impaired students for the study of health and pathological tissues.
Prof. Dr. Giovanni Danese and the Ing. Elisa Marenzi, project manager, confirms this result as the first success achieved by the Laboratory thanks to the use of 3d printing technology in the field of medical studies.
A success for which the A4v3 printer of 3ntr was fundamental since all the glass slides used for the course of General Pathology of the University of Pavia’s Graduate Course in Medicine were printed in 3D highlighting, with different height levels, the various contours and elements of interest.
In particular, through open source software, the details to be printed in greater prominence were selected from time to time, as they are most significant because they are part of a tumor, an inflammatory or pathological process.
It was therefore possible to obtain prints with ABS, consisting of a support and a basic design, in some cases partially simplified but with the fundamental details still maintained.
At multiple height levels, the outlines and proportions that are more difficult to distinguish have been printed.
Going into more specifics, it has been observed that the morphology of the tissue under consideration can be reproduced thanks to 3D printing with a high level of detail.
If the number of elements to be highlighted is limited, the correspondence between the touch pattern and the slide is complete, so the simultaneous display of the image with a magnifier and the tactile exploration of the printed object are complementary and allow for a perfect understanding.
With 3ntr 3D printers, one or more parts could be printed separately and the dimensions of the original image were adjusted, the machines ensured total customization in terms of the number and height of the layers to be printed. Thanks to the ability of 3ntr printers to ensure a significant level of customization according to specific needs, the prototypes made during the laboratory project of the University of Pavia provided a promising basis for the subsequent production of touch media for students with visual disabilities at different levels.
Thanks to 3ntr’s solutions, visually impaired students can benefit from a supplemental toolkit that, taking advantage of the sense of touch, allows to perceive with greater detail and precision some particular shades of color difficult to distinguish or completely impossible to perceive.
However, any student can benefit from the use of this type of tactile tools because microscopic glass slides, both for healthy and pathological specimens, printed with 3ntr technology represent in all cases a useful integration at the educational level.