Proto-Lab

The Proto-lab is a laboratory created with the idea of providing a rapid-prototyping service, that let you realize a physical model directly from a virtual CAD model or a 3dprinting-ready file as STL, OBJ, AMF and similar. Models are created through a layer by layer process: the CAD model is virtually sliced, and the printer drops for each slice a layer of material (for more details on the process click here).

Proto-Lab is equipped with seven 3Dprinters:

Objet 260 Connex 3 is a polyJet printer with photopolymer resins crosslinking with UV light. It offers the possibility to use different colors and materials, also deformable and transparent ones. Very precise, able to achieve the smallest details of 20 microns. Particularly suitable to reproduce anatomical models of the abdominal cavity.

3DSYSTEMS ProJet 460 Plus is a professional, full-color, binder jetting printer.

3NTR A4v2 is a professional FDM printer, dual Bowden extruder, 2.85 mm. Such a printer is able to process a very broad class of materials thank to high temperature, water cooled extruders (up to 410°C).

This 3D printer is based on Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technique: the printer builds the object by laying down layers of molten plastic material throughout a nozzle. This is a high resolution 3D printer, with a positioning precision of 11 µm on the X-Y plane and 5 µm on the Z axis. The build size is very wide, with a maximum dimension of 300x200x200 mm. This printer is equipped with a dual extruder, that allows the simultaneous printing of two building materials at a time or of one building material plus support material at a time. For technical specification about 3NTR A4 printer visit 3NTR website.

Printing Materials: any available printable polymer with a filament diameter of 2,75 mm, including PVA, PLA, ABS, Nylon, and PC.

3NTR A4v3 is a professional FDM printer, triple Bowden extruder, 2.85 mm, hot chamber (up to 70°C). Such a printer is able to print multi-material models taking advantage of the number of the extruders and the heated chamber.

Leapfrog Creatr HS is a dual Bowden extruder, 1.75 mm, FDM printer. Such a printer is particularly suitable for relatively high speeds printing of large objects with common materials.

Leapfrog Creatr is a dual Direct extruder, 1.75 mm. Such a printer is especially suitable when printing low modulus filaments as thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU).

This 3D printer is based on Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technique: the printer builds the object by laying down layers of molten plastic material throughout a nozzle. This is a medium resolution 3D printer, with a layer resolution that ranges between 50 µm and 350 µm (a typical value is 200 µm). The build size is very wide, with a maximum dimension of 230 x 270 x 200 mm. This printer is equipped with a dual extruder, that allows the simultaneous printing of two building materials at a time or of one building material plus support material at a time.

The available printing materials are:

  • ABS, strong material, suitable for surface post-processing. Indicated for small objects. Available in many colours.
  • PLA, biodegradable material, for smooth finishing. Suitable for large objects can be also used as support material for ABS. Available in many colours.
  • Nylon, very strong material that can withstand much more pressure than other materials.
  • Laybrick, printing filament with small laybrick fibers that make the 3D object look like made from sandstone.
  • PVA, water soluble material to be used as support material

Form-2 is a a stereolithography (SLA) desktop 3D printer. This is a high-resolution printer, with a layer thickness up to 25 micron, able to process different photo-polimeric resins, including a transparent one..

Within our research activities, 3D printing technology is mainly used in the following areas:

  • Patient specific anatomical models for surgical planning. See our clinical case studies.
  • Rigid and silicone mock arteries to be used for in-vitro simulation within β-lab activities. See our vascular models.
  • Rapid-prototyping of biomedical devices.
  • Mechanical characterization of 3Dprinted materials, in particular for FDM parts

Two models of carotid artery bifurcation at the end of the printing process with VeroWhite material, still inside the support material

Cleaning process: the support material is removed from the model using the water–jet cleaner

The final result after the cleaning process

A detail of the model

Templates for dog bone sample of human aorta at the end of printing process with VeroWhite material, still inside the support material

Final result after support removal using the water-jet cleaner

Final result after support removal using the water-jet cleaner

Final result after support removal using the water-jet cleaner

½ inch tube connector for the hydraulic circuit located in the Beta-lab, printed with VeroWhite material

A detail of the connector

A detail of the connector

The connector with an o-ring mounted on it

A simplified model of an aortic dissection printed with VeroWhite material. The model is composed by two interlocking parts

The assembled model

A detail of the model

A detail of the model size

Screw printed with VeroClear material

Screw printed with VeroClear material

Screw printed with VeroClear material

A model of a spinal bone segmented from CT images and printed with Vero White material

A model of a lower dental arch derived from the laser scanning of a cast and printed with VeroClear material

Acknowledgements

The lab activities are kindly supported also by:

Useful links

Embodi3D