3D Med’s ambition is to build a 3D casting system that will innovate the traditional plaster and fiberglass cast for patients that will be more comfortable to wear, waterproof, and less expensive while minimizing time spent with the doctor. With collaboration with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, the 3D Med team has listed the essentials for their 3D printer by creating a Product Design Specification (PDS) that will guide them through their process. It is needless to say that the project needs to remain within the $3,100 budget and hold the ability to print short arm casts but there are many other important factors. This includes having a user friendly interface, the ability to print with dimensional accuracy for every casts as the part is explicit to each individual patient, and be tailored to material that holds similar properties in strength compared to its traditional counterpart. It is also crucial that the 3D printer will be compatible with future Capstone projects that will further advance the 3D printer into a full casting system for the School of Medicine.
Proof of Concept
The 3D Med Printer is intended to be used at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine but it may not be limited to only their facilities in upcoming years. In the future, this product can be utilized for all medical providers such as private practices, clinics, and hospitals. Currently, this industry is dominated by traditional fiberglass and plaster casts and while there are businesses that offer 3D casts, they do not offer their system but rather an outsource for the cast itself after dimensions are supplied to them. Activ Armor and #CAST are the leading competitors in this aspect but this reveals potential for further grown in this field as a system that allows a facility to create their own casts will expand the market. The 3D Med Team will have an unheard of, yet feasible approach into this market as their printer, along with future Capstone projects, will produce an entire system that can be employed for building 3D casts in house instead of being contracted out.
The design chosen by 3D Med was an additive lathe style printer. A main benefit to the design chosen is the way in which the layers of material are laid down on the cylindrical bed. The bed will rotate as the extruder moves about the x-axis, creating a helical shape print. When comparing these layers to the layers created by a standard cartesian or even a delta printer, the cylindrical print should be significantly stronger. To test this hypothesis 3D Med has printed several different dog-bone test pieces. To test the different parts that the printers would make, the team printed each dogbone with different layering as shown in the drawing of the Proof of Concept. It is important to note that both were printed in the same material, PLA, to ensure the only difference is the layering. All prints were then tested for tensile strength and compared. To ensure that 3D Med meets Product Requirement Specification 2.D., these results were also compared to the strength of a classic fiberglass cast. The casting material was provided by the team sponsor, Dr. Stovak. To ensure statistic relevance, three pieces of each different test piece were used in the tensile strength test. Thus, proving that the lathe style printer is the best design concept for printing a cylindrical cast. This analysis on the Proof of Concept can further be extended to any cylindrical shape, such as springs and propellers, creating stronger parts.
3D Med was tasked with the project of designing and building a 3D printer with capabilities to print custom casts for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. Many Product Design Specifications and Customer Requirement Specifications were considered in every aspect of the printer design. A few of the most important requirements are outlined below:
- The ultimate goal of the Nevada School of Medicine is to have a fully integrated system including a 3D scanner, modeling system, and 3D printer. As this project is one of a total of three projects; 3D Med was conscientious in the design of the printer to ensure integrability into the future projects.
- It is important that the cast itself is durable and resistant to cracking, similar to a traditional cast. In order to print a cast with the highest strength, the team chose a cylindrical lathe style printer. This innovative design allows the cast to have a cross hatching pattern in the layers resulting with a cast that is more durable and stronger than a standard cartesian printer.
- The safety of the user is of the utmost importance to the design of the printer. Certain design decisions were made specifically with this in mind. Some of these design decisions are outlined below.
- The heated print head moves away from the user at the end of a printing operation to allow access to remove the completed part without the risk of accidental burns.
- A door seals the build area during operation to prevent any tampering with the moving parts and heat elements. Upon opening the door, the print job will pause automatically in order to maintain safe operations.
The printer design also includes many functions and capabilities that are not specifically mentioned in this discussion. This cylindrical lathe style printer will be useful to the School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno as it will provide a means to expedite the casting process in the orthopedic clinic. This printer will allow the medical staff to focus more energies on the patient rather than spending the time to apply a plaster cast on the patient.
Testing and Results
Meet the Team
At a very young age, Marc Magarin, began working with CAD software, tinkering, and developing new inventions. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to attend the first engineering high school in Antioch, California, that gave him the opportunity to develop his engineering skills even further in a group setting. At 17, Marc started his own business, Magarin Product Development (MPD) where he helps inventors and small businesses design new products and bring them to market faster. Having his own business allows him to utilize his skills that he has learned over the years and work on unique projects such as, brain surgery tools, industrial logging equipment and other new inventions. While completing his general studies at Los Medanos College, Marc co-founded the LMC Engineering Tech club, where he led the team to participate in the Micro-g-Next competition at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He invented a special twist closing valve device dubbed The Flex IRIS which solved NASA’s problem of capturing a loose regolith sample in a zero-gravity environment while keeping the form factor of the core sampling tool compact and slim. In the future, Marc plans to expand his current business and develop solutions for the aerospace defense industry and the medical industry.
Jessica Scheerschmidt is originally from Southern California but is now proud to be able to grow her roots in Northern Nevada and call Reno home. Having graduated from Wooster High School in the International Baccalaureate program she was set up for success at the beginning of her university career. She is currently a senior at the University of Nevada Reno, finishing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics in the Spring of 2019. She strives to be a great student and employee at her current internship at SA Automotive. The engineering internship allows her to apply the analytical, technical, interpersonal and teamwork skills that she has acquired through her education and business background. On a daily basis, while working she is challenged with a problem that is seen on the production line. Finding the most appropriate and feasible solution to the problem in the quickest way possible, in order to minimize downtime and cost, is always the goal in the manufacturing world. Post graduation, she hopes to continue down her engineering career path in manufacturing, all while continuing her education with an MBA. Because of her leadership and management skills, she hopes to one day enter the project management side of engineering and truly be able to put all of her acquired skills to use.
Philip Nowak is from Reno, Nevada, and currently working on an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. His current goals are to finish school and work at an engineering firm or for NASA. His ambitions are to figure out new ways to bond dissimilar metals in a faster, more reliable process. He volunteers helping design, mentor, and fabricate a human powered vehicle to race with NASA. During the process of designing and building the vehicle, Philip uses several of his academic classes to design new frames by analyzing stress and failure points. An example of this is designing a new slot-and-tab frame that is dimple-died, reducing the material thickness by about 20% and weight by 50%.
Luke Chatelle is a Reno, Nevada native currently pursuing undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Spanish. His current goals are to graduate from The University of Nevada in the spring then start work in the engineering field. Eventually, He wants to work abroad as an engineer in a spanish speaking country and aid in the development and expansion of renewable energies. Over the course of his scholastic career, he has developed skills in CAD, specifically in SolidWorks, and the ability to calmly assess a problem and find a solution. Outside of school, he is building a rock crawler from a Suzuki Samurai while teaching himself the mechanics behind a car along the way. To complete this project, he will have to apply the many different engineering concepts that he has learned as well be able to find solutions for any problems that he encounters.
Katerina Berg was born in Everett, Washington and moved to Reno at a young age. Her passion for aviation and astronomy was the driving force that lead her into pursuing subjects in math and science at Earl Wooster High School. She decided to further her education as an undergraduate at the University of Nevada, Reno by studying Mechanical Engineering as well as a dual minor in Mathematics and Astronomy. Katerina’s academics exposed her to projects that advance skills in CAD, mathematical analysis, computer programming, and technical writing. It was also through the university, Katering got the chance to volunteer with FIRST to attend FTC and FLL competitions as a robot inspector and judge. She has used her knowledge to build projects for her home and local businesses including the design and construction of pedicure chairs for a salon. Katerina’s journey has given her the opportunity to work as a Junior Mechanical Engineer at Aqua Metals and has opened a door into understanding mechanical and electrical processes in recycling. She wishes to pursue a better understanding of these systems and stay in industry to help refine her skills. She still remains interested in the upcoming future to attend graduate school with an emphasis in engineering education to inspire young minds to following their dreams in the STEM Field.