3D Printing

Strategic Category: Innovation & Support   • BACK TO STRATEGIC CATEGORIES •

Although 3D printing is not a new phenomenon, it provides a unique opportunity to improvise, invent, and create models for observation and experimentation in function. Alterations to a current device can be performed and tested with minimal expense and risk. New applications appear almost daily from around the world in fields as diverse as medicine, consumer products, and construction. Recent advances in printing materials have now enabled 3D printers to make objects that are comparable with traditionally manufactured items. In contrast with conventional printers, 3D printing has the potential to enable mass customization of goods on a large scale and has relevance in medicine including ophthalmology. 3D printing has already proved viable in several medical applications including the manufacture of eyeglasses, custom prosthetic devices and dental implants.

At the UT's Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center (IISC), many parts for expensive surgical and medical education equipment periodically break or need replaced. Current 3D printing examples include simulator add-ons, VR tracker frames, needle pole add-on for staff development, and a new simulator tool. These small parts can now be easily printed saving time and money. Many similar applications printing parts in house are now possible.
Last Updated: 5/9/24