Medical Device 2019 Hackathon Recap

Thanks to our student and Research Platforms co-ordinators Gordon Chen and Eric Jong 3dMedLab was pleased to support the #3Devices Medical Device Hackathon at the University of Melbourne over the past few weeks.

We kicked off with introductory talks on March 28 along with a “speed-dating” session to match up bright minds in Medicine, Dentistry, Allied Health and Engineering, along with some inspiring talks.

Over the next few weeks, teams had the chance to learn about digital design tools, market research, and prototyping technology.

Pitch Night came around very quickly and we had some awesome projects to judge.

First up was a really exciting, low-cost real-time dental video capture device from Team Health Capture, followed by a single-handed, automatically inflating limb tourniquet for arresting haemorrhage from Team Band-O. #stopthebleed

This was followed by Team Spacette who pitched their transforming multi-dose inhaler spacing mechanism to improve inhaled drug deliver for asthmatics.

The winning team won tickets to the @3dMedLab’s 3dMed Australia Conference and a swag of gift cards to help fund their project further. All up it was great fun and you can read more about the experience at the Research Platforms blog!

#3dMedAu18 Recap- Day 1

It’s been a month since #3dMedAu18, and my goodness it’s been one hell of a ride. Thank you to everyone who made the weekend, especially those of you who made the journey from overseas or interstate. Thank you also to all conference attendees who submitted such positive feedback. After a well earned rest, we’ll be working hard to make #3dMed19 even bigger and better!

In the aftermath of this year’s conference, we’ve managed to inspire the next generation of innovators, and new collaborations have sprouted. Mission accomplished.

For those of you who missed out, here’s a handy recap of the two, very full days. Let’s start with Day 1.

Medical 3D Printing Workshop

Day 1 opened with a hands on anatomical modelling and 3D printing workshop, which took participants through how to turn patient imaging into a physical 3D printed model. Participants were then able to take the model that they made home with them.

Places for this workshop were booked out within an hour of being advertised! Despite being fully booked, we had a large number of drop ins coming by to check out what we were up to. Fear not, we will be running more workshops like this in the future. Watch this space.

A big shout out to Thinglab for collaborating with us to make the workshop possible!

Session: Clinical Applications

Our first session chaired by A/Prof Tracie Barber, was opened with Dr Elizabeth Sigston from Monash Health sharing the progress her team had made on 3D printed titanium mandibular implants for head and neck cancer surgery.

This was followed by Mr Paul D’Urso’s experiences of 680 spine cases at Anatomics.

Dr Hossein Mokhtarzadeh, freshly returned to the University of Melbourne from Boston, took us through the personalised load models that he worked on as part of the Framingham Heart Study to prevent spinal fractures.

Next we were treated to Dr Cynthia Wong of the QUT Biofabrication and Tissue Morphology Group, speaking on the impressive bioprinting advances made by their team.

Mr Ron Jithoo from Alfred Health took us through his end user perspective of 3D printed spinal titanium implants.

Finally, the session wrapped up with Dr Raf Ratinam from Monash Health presenting his qualitative survey data on Hand Surgeons’ attitudes towards 3D printing.

Special thanks to Cynthia for making the trip down to Melbourne to share her lab’s work!

Session: Med Tech Industry

Our second session opened with Dr Tim Hughes showing off his very cool biocompatible elastic photocurable resins produced by his team at CSIRO. We’ve got to get our hands on some of that resin, Tim!

Next up, Dr Darpan Shidid gave us an insight into RMIT’s successes with 3D printed medical implants, as well as a drool worthy sneak peak into their facilities!

Dr Carmine Onofrillo from St Vincent’s Melbourne’s BioFab3D Lab described the progress their group had made with the much celebrated BioPen.

We were introduced to our international speaker Jen Owen from Enabling the Future, and treated to an insider’s view on how the global movement started.

Finally, Dr Blake Cochran (and his radiologically accurate sidekick!) took us through the highs and lows of creating a 3D printing filament for X-ray and CT phantoms.

Session: Engaging Patients and the Community

This session opened up with our patient representative Roger Jones sharing his experience on his 3D printed model which was used by the team to plan his surgery. Thanks for coming Roger!

Next Jen Owen was back for her second talk for the day, sharing how e-NABLE’s story of community powered iterative prosthesis development.

Twitterati Dr Eric Levi enlightened us on the Dos and Don’ts of social media, as well as highlighting its power in reaching out to both patients and new collaborators.

Finally the high energy Day 1 was concluded with our own Dr Jas Coles-Black taking the audience through our experiences in setting up a 3D printing lab in a public hospital.

Stay tuned for our recap of Day 2!

A Brief History of 3dMedLab

3dMedLab came about after discussions about the need for a more co-ordinated and organised approach to 3D Printing Resources throughout The University of Melbourne and in particular the availability of this technology to Clinician-Researchers at hospitals associated with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

After a very pleasant Friday-afternoon multidisciplinary meeting in late 2014 at the venerable Prince Alfred Hotel the concept of an open and collaborative 3D Printing facility was born.

Continue reading “A Brief History of 3dMedLab”

Form2 Unboxing Day

Here at the 3DMed Lab, we have had our eye on the Form 2 Desktop SLA 3D Printer for a long while. So when it finally arrived only a few days after it had been ordered, you can guess how excited we were!

Boxes, boxes and more boxes

FormLabs Form2 Boxes
FormLabs Form2 Boxes

The Form 2 “Complete Package” consists of the printer itself, one cartridge of Clear resin, a resin tank, a build platform, and a finish kit. We also ordered extra Grey and Flexible resins, as well as an extra build platform and resin tank, as we’ve heard that switching between resins can be a pain. The Form 2 also has “Open” mode which allows you to experiment with third party resins. We will report back when we have done so.

Stoked and Stacked!

FormLabs Form2 boxes
FormLabs Form2 boxes

The Form 2 itself came snugly packed in its box. The cardboard handles on either side were a nice touch which facilitated easy lifting out of the box and onto the table.

You lift me up...

FormLabs Form2 in the box
FormLabs Form2 in the box

The finish kit was packed full of very handy tools for post-processing, tools that you would have had to purchase anyway from a hardware shop if you’d had any prior experience with 3D printing, but including them was a very nice touch. Included was also a very generous amount of gloves- two packets in fact! Not that we ever run short of gloves in a hospital, but the thoughtfulness was much appreciated.


FormLabs Form2 cleaning kit
FormLabs Form2 cleaning kit

My only complaint is that the packaging did not contain an Australian power plug, which was slightly annoying as it meant that I couldn’t start printing straightaway. Just something to keep in mind when purchasing your Form 2- especially if you’re not setting up the printer at home, have a US to Australian adaptor at the ready so you don’t have to delay playing with your new toy! Thankfully the printer has a standard IEC power socket on the back so there is a good chance you have a suitable power cable sitting around from that retired computer, printer etc.

Other than that, assembly was very straightforward and the printer was pretty much plug and play. You have the option of printing via Wifi, ethernet, or directly to the computer via USB.

I'm sinking in foam!

FormLabs Form2 out of the box
FormLabs Form2 out of the box

The PreForm software was easily downloaded from the Formlabs website, and was very intuitive and straightforward to use. It has the option to optimally orient your print, which is great for SLA beginners like myself.

Orbit Model, PreForm

Skull and Orbit Model being manipuated in FormLabs PreForm software prior to 3d printing. The lattice network are support structures used to hold the model together during printing.
Skull and Orbit Model being manipuated in FormLabs PreForm software prior to 3d printing. The lattice network are support structures used to hold the model together during printing.

We had a model that we had prototyped in ABS using our Makerbots, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out in clear resin!

Skull, Meshmixer.

Skull and orbit model being manipulated in Autodesk Meshmixer software.
Skull and orbit model being manipulated in Autodesk Meshmixer software.

The original STL file was hollowed out using Meshmixer as per this tutorial on the Formlabs website, which was a relatively simple process. This allows you to shorten the build time and save on resin. As instructed, I reoriented the model to match the position PreForm had oriented it for printing, placing holes on the close to the build platform to allow resin to drain.

In addition to the hollowing tutorial, the Formlabs website has lots of very useful tutorials to help you get started. Formlabs were also very helpful on Twitter, responding to questions and linking me to further tutorials.

And here is the final hollowed model, imported back into PreForm:

The Crystal Skull

FormLabs PreForm software
FormLabs PreForm software

What have been your experiences with the Form 2, or other SLA/DLP 3D printers in general? Have experiences or advice you would like to share? Leave a comment below or tweet us @3dMedLab!

#3dMedAu16 Recap

This recap has been reproduced from the ResBaz Tumblr Blog.

3DMed Seminar 2016- The Recap

By Jas Coles-Black

The second annual 3DMed Seminar was held on the 5th of October, in conjunction with the 3DMed Lab at Austin Health. The event was hugely successful, with over 130 participants from a whole host of different disciplines signing up to attend. The purpose of the event was to facilitate discussions about the disruptive potential of 3D printing in the medical field, and serve as a catalyst for future ideas and as a meeting point for collaboration!

We were honoured to be joined by a fantastic and diverse list of speakers from variety of different backgrounds. This was in keeping with the #3DMed16 vision of interdisciplinary collaboration, in particular between engineering and medicine, with the shared goal of improving medical research and patient care!

The seminar was kicked out by Dr David Ackland from the University of Melbourne, who took us through a fascinating journey of how he and Prof Peter Lee designed Australia’s first 3D printed titanium jaw, from prototyping to implantation into a patient.

Next up was Dr Eka Moseshvilli from the Olivia Newton John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre, on how 3D printing can be used to create a perfect fit for imperfect anatomy in cancer patients. Her emphasis was on the power of 3D printing to create personalised tools to save lives.

Dr Ian Chao from Austin Health and Box Hill Hospital blew people away with the 3D printed emergency airway trainers that his team had developed, costing less than $2 a model! This has the potential to revolutionise and democratise medical simulation training, with conventional models costing hundreds to thousands of dollars.

We were also treated to a recorded lecture from Dr Steve Pieper from Harvard’s  Surgical Planning Laboratory, on some of the inspiring applications of 3D Slicer worldwide! Some of my favourite examples included utilising 3D Slicer for robotic prostatic biopsies, as well as modelling the morphological and phenotypic changes in various lung cancers.


We were also very honoured to have A/Prof Tracie Barber from UNSW come down from Sydney to deliver her talk on using 3D printing in addition to computational fluid dynamics to aid her analysis of blood flow through blood vessels such as fistulas in dialysis patients.

Dr Raf Ratinam from Monash Health explored the views of orthopaedic surgeons on complex 3D printed fractures, and provided a fascinating and instructional overview of how his team were able to achieve these 3D printed models of their patients’ individual fractured bones.

The symposium was finished strong with Dr Ryan Jefferies, curator of the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, on how 3D printing was used to enhance the museum’s exhibits, such as a 3D printed recreation of Ned Kelley’s death mask, bringing a 2000-year-old mummy back to life, and a photorealistic 3D printed lung specimen with tuberculosis!

Thank you to all our participants, for your enthusiasm and for providing such engaging discourse both in the panel discussions as well as in the Twittersphere! You helped make this event the success that it was!

Finally, a big shout out to our sponsors, Konica Minolta and Objective3D, for the delicious afternoon tea and for helping to make this event happen!


In conclusion, we are glad that so many of you found the seminar informative, and most importantly, fun! The feedback we have thus far received has been overwhelmingly positive, and we will without a doubt be holding this event again next year.

If you have any thoughts or feedback about how #3DMed17 can be improved upon, please feel free to email me at, or tweet me @jasaminecb!

We hope to see everyone next year!