3D printing has recently become a cherished technology in the healthcare industry over the last several years. In late November 2016, doctors in the United Kingdom replicated a brain to help train future physicians, and students in Japan are using them for neurosurgery classes. Aside from the ability to provide study aids more efficiently, there are other benefits associated with providing students 3D printed replicas.
Although precise replicas of human brains are already being produced, researchers in the United Kingdom are excited to announce that they’re working on making them even more realistic. They are now testing a variety of 3D printing materials that would allow them to print a replica that feels and responds like living brain tissue, which they refer to as a “haptic” model.
It’s expected that researchers and 3D printing experts – along with physicians and surgeons – will continue to improve upon these already impressive models. In the next five years, 3D printed body parts will be even more valuable than they are today, and more students in more schools around the world will have access to them.
There is also some talk of combining a haptic brain model with living tissues in order to create an even more realistic experience, but this is likely some time off as technology has yet to allow it. Nevertheless, some of the brightest minds in the world continue to work together to find new ways to improve healthcare on a global scale using 3D printing.