ReviewsREVIEW

Multiprocess 3D printing for increasing component functionality

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Science  30 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6307, aaf2093
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf2093

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  • RE: 3D-multimaterial printing–Knight Götz von Berlichingen’s trendsetting “iron hand”
    • Andreas Otte, M.D., Professor, Laboratory of NeuroScience, Offenburg University, Germany
    • Other Contributors:
      • Oliver Weinert, B.Sc., Laboratory of NeuroScience, Offenburg University, Germany
      • Stefan Junk, Ph.D., Professor, Laboratory of Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Tooling and Reverse Engineering, Offenburg University, Germany

    The review by MacDonald and Wicker is most timely (1). 3D printing offers a high potential to support many different non-medical and medical disciplines. Currently, a special focus may be on (bio-) medical engineering and anatomical models. Thus, hearing aids and dental bridges adapted to the individual anatomy of the patient are additively produced in large numbers. The implementation of magnetic resonance imaging data into physical models is also already successfully performed in operations planning today. In the field of prosthetics, 3D printing offers the possibility to manufacture prostheses based on design data or 3D scans. This eliminates complicated and time-consuming manufacturing steps, e.g. the manufacture of tools and molds. 3D multi-material printing also allows the production of transparent components, which offers an insight into the mechanics of the prosthesis. In addition, various mechanical properties, e.g., rigid structural parts of a prosthesis and flexible joints, can be combined in one manufacturing step.

    Recently, we reconstructed the first artficial hand of German knight Götz von Berlichingen (1480–1562) using 3D computer aided design (CAD) (2) and printed it using a multimaterial 3D printer (Stratasys J750) (3). The knight lost his right hand in 1504 by a cannonball splinter injury and replaced it with a passive prosthesis soon after this injury: the so-called first “iron hand” that allowed movement of the artificial thumb and two finger blo...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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