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The History of 3D Printed Models at Jacobs Institute

I’m going to introduce Dr. Ciprian Ionita, or Chip as we call him. Chip is a biomedical engineer and physicist. He kind of straddles both worlds. He has a joint appointment at the Department of Neurosurgery in the School of Medicine as well as in the School of Engineering. And he, together with Dr. Siddiqui, was the pioneer behind the 3D printed vascular models. So, he’s going to talk a little bit about the history and how it developed.


Thank you. Good to see you guys. Welcome to Buffalo. So I’ll just give you a brief description of how we started this.


We started somewhere around 2001, 2002. I’m coming from a lab that used to be about a third neurosurgeons, a third physicists, and a third engineers. And the problems that we were dealing with at that time was to develop new devices and test them, do new diagnostic tools based on software, and also test devices.


And for every single one of them, we needed benchtop models, benchtop models, benchtop models. So, we looked into creating things like this, which is nowhere remotely close to a patient anatomy. And how we were doing this, we were taking Play Doh, make the model, dry it, then paint it with Dow Corning Sylgard.


And the process would take to make one of these models would be anywhere between a week or two weeks. We’ll make many of them, let them dry for 48 hours, and apply another coating and just keep going at it. And for the simplicity of this, we spent quite a few time. And there were actually master’s students’ thesis based on making these things which are obsolete now or even PhD students will spend a chapter of their project to actually build a benchtop setting to actually test these things.


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