Researchers at the Bionics Institute have saved months of work since using 3D printing technology to produce bionic eye prototypes, allowing them to work with surgeons on faster clinical upgrades.Senior Research Fellow at the Bionics Institute, Chris Williams, leads a team who are working to create components such as RF coils that transmit power and data wirelessly once implanted in the eye.
“You would be able to transmit vision to the device in the eye…it’s just like putting a smart phone in your eye,” he says.
Associate Professor Williams uses the ProJet 1200 for verification models which allow his team to test for fit, size and functionality. The team then use the 3D printing for pre-production, making moulds from the models which they use to cast silicon prototypes.
“We can now get a prototype out in 4 hours using the ProJet 1200. Before 3D printing it would take us weeks or months. We found it takes 20 iterations to reach an upgrade, in terms of going through iterations, the machine justified itself in the first week.” he says.
After 5 years of research the first clinical trial has been completed on patients using a novel device.
“It was quite promising, their vision was optimised, obviously they want better vision and fully wireless power, but the eye surgeons were pleased with the process and that’s a platform for future trials”, Associate Professor William’s said.
On September 30 and Oct 1, evok3d were proud to host our guests at the Nissan Motorsport headquarters as part of the 3D Systems Manufacturing the Future: 3d Printing 2.0 seminar series.
Participants were welcomed with coffee and breakfast before our presentation where we outlined some of the technologies that demonstrate the ‘coming of age’ of 3D printing. We showed some real world applications where 3D printing has been used, not only prototyping and conceptual communication, but fit and function testing through to end use parts. These applications were demonstrated by some of the parts produced for and being used in the Nissan V8 Supercars, all produced on our in house professional 3D printing machines.
This was followed by a personal tour of the facilities which allowed our visitors to see how 3D printing has now become and essential part of a working facility, complementing traditional manufacturing techniques such as CNC machining and composite mold making. Our friends at 3D Printing Today also made a short video with some pictures from the event.
As a refresher for attendees and for the benefit of those unable to join us we have published below the slides from the presentation.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have any questions about how 3D printing can work for your business or are in the market for a 3D printer yourself please don’t hesitate to contact us.