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How to start your own biomedical 3D printing laboratory at university
Writer : manager upndown 2018-02-14 15:07:05Views : 372 Like : 0

How to start your own biomedical 3D printing laboratory at university

Feb 13, 2018 | By Benedict

The co-founder of MUN MED 3D, a 3D printing biomedical laboratory in Canada, has offered a series of tips for those looking to start a biomedical 3D printing laboratory on a college or university campus.

Eight months ago, Michael Bartellas and Stephen Ryan founded MUN MED 3D, a biomedical 3D printing laboratory located within the Health Science Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The lab has grown since its inception, and Bartellas has now shared a number of tips to those looking to replicate his laboratory’s achievements.

MUN MED 3D got off the ground thanks to a special grant after Bartellas and Ryan spent months preparing their application, and the lab now has several employees and collaborators. It has carried out exciting 3D printing research that has been published in scientific journals.

Perhaps surprisingly, Bertellas says his company’s success can definitely be achieved by others—provided they are willing to put in the work. And in a blog post published by Ultimaker, he explains how.

The first of Bertellas’ tips sounds simple, but is probably not followed by everyone looking to make a quick buck out of additive manufacturing: “When speaking to others about the use of 3D printing, especially in the field of medicine, it is vital to have a sufficient level of knowledge in the 3D printing field first,” he says. “You want to be the expert in this field as this is what you have to offer the physician you approach when seeking collaboration opportunities.”

(Images: Ultimaker / MUN MED 3D)

Other guidance from the MUN MED 3D co-founder covers aspects such as 3D printing open-source models that can be shown to potential collaborators, such as hospitals. On a related note, Bertellas also suggests seeking funding for advanced prototyping. While early efforts will have to be carried out at your own expense, clients and collaborators may eventually be interested enough to commit to cost-sharing.

Funding, of course, is perhaps the most important aspect to consider when attempting to set up a 3D printing lab. There are grants out there, though they may be hard to find. And even where no grant exists, it is worth contacting university departments directly to gauge interest. Fundraising initiatives and public/private donation campaigns can also be considered.

Ultimately, Bertellas advises those looking to form their own campus-based biomedical 3D printing laboratories to find a niche. Simply copying the work of another organization provides little to the market, so identifying areas that are yet to be fully explored is the best way to ensure success.

MUN MED 3D’s own niche? “In our lab, as one of Stephen’s key interests, we have a large focus on exploring and innovating in 3D rural medical applications,” Bertellas explains. “This is in line with a major population need in our area, and we have several new thoughts/innovations developing in this field.”

Interested in medical 3D printing? Learn how the industry is creating efficient, customized 3D printed vaccinations, and see how one company has received FDA approval to make 3D printed drugs.

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