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QEH Introduces 3D Printing

3D Printer Presentation

From right: QEH representatives Philip King, Director of Engineering Services (Ag); and Marc Boyce, Medical Engineer, present representatives of Bryden Stokes Ltd. Sasha Miller, Division Manager; Keisha Alleyne, Business Unit Head; and Hasina Yarde, Medical Sales Representative with a token of appreciation.

The biomedical team of the QEH is the recipient of an Einscan SP 3D scanner generously donated by Bryden Stokes Ltd. This Einscan SP 3D scanner will complement the Departments already existing Dremel Digilab 3D45 3D printer provided by Advance, allowing the QEH to scan three-dimensional (3D)  objects, reverse engineer these items, and design nonstructural parts for equipment. The Dremel Digilab 3D45 3D can then create a physical copy of the object designed from the 3D digital model, i.e. 3D printing. Unlike conventional machining processes in which objects are carved from existing material, 3D printing builds objects from a computer-aided design (CAD) model by successively adding material layer by layer, and producing the object from scratch.

The attainment of the 3D scanner and printer are expected to have significant service improvement and cost saving benefits for the QEH by reducing time spent ordering and shipping minor cosmetic parts and the requisite cost of purchasing these parts.

To date the biomedical team has employed the Einscan SP 3D scanner and Dremel Digilab 3D45 3D printer to successfully produce an enclosure for a power supply, and pins to stabilize the chin rests for the diagnostic equipment in the Ophthalmology Department.

Power Supply Enclosure

On commissioning, the 3D scanner and printer were immediately put to the test to produce a power supply enclosure for the Cardiac Suite when the original power supply for the intercom system sustained damage due to flooding. This adverse occurrence proved to be a significant inconvenience for the department as the surgeons and nurses in the theatre were unable to communicate directly with the radiologist in the control room during procedures. It was estimated that sourcing the replacement part would take 4 to 6 weeks and cost the QEH more than $5,000 BDS. However, the biomedical team was able to repurpose an internal power supply board from an old fetal monitor, and adapt it to work with the intercom system. An appropriate enclosure for the power supply was then designed using a CAD programme and, within three days, the team was able to use the new Dremel 3D printer to print a new, fully functional enclosure.

Chin Rest Pins for Slit Lamps in Ophthalmology

Many ophthalmic diagnostic devices are equipped with chin rests designed to support and keep the patient’s head in a fixed position and at an appropriate distance from the device. These devices, in this instance slit lamps, typically consist of frames with a head rest against which the forehead rests and an adjustable chin rest on which the patient’s chin is placed. The doctors and nurses in the Ophthalmology Department found that pins needed to hold the sanitary disposable paper for the chin rest in place on several slit lamps were missing. Using a CAD programme, the required pins were designed and the 3D printer utilized to print the replacement parts, facilitating the repair of the slit lamps.

Due to the unavailability of parts locally, the Engineering Department has on occasion been forced to endure long wait times from overseas suppliers. This is further compounded by the concomitant equipment and shipping costs. The addition of the Einscan SP 3D scanner and Dremel Digilab 3D45 3D printer to the Department’s list of tools is expected to mitigate against these occurrences by reducing the down time of equipment, and in so doing, positively impact the patient care experience.

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