Industrial 3D printer manufacturer Solidscape’s equipment is being used to simulate the blood flow of cerebral aneurysms.
You might not know it, but you might be the victim of a cerebral aneurysm, which is, according to Wikipedia:
A cerebrovascular disorder in which weakness in the wall of a cerebral artery or vein causes a localized dilation or ballooning of the blood vessel.
In other words, it’s a big step towards a full-on stroke. Many people perish or are severely disabled from these afflictions and it is critical that medical technicians gain a deep understanding of how they work, in particular the flow of blood through them.
Obviously it is problematic to perform detailed experimentation on human subjects, so research has focused on simulations. This is where Solidscape’s equipment enters the picture. Their R66 Plus machine can print wax 3D models at a fine resolution of up to 12.7 microns, or 0.0127mm. Originally designed for the jewelry market, the R66 is also being used in the medical field for research.
Specifically, Arizona State University prints 3D models of the tiny blood vessels involved in cerebral aneurysm, which are then used as negatives to cast transparent models of hollow blood vessels. Fluid dynamics flow through these cast models can reveal new insight into the problem.
Originally intended for printing jewelry models, it seems that the technology can be used in many different ways. You need high resolution for your problem?
Via Solidscape (PDF)