UK-based company axial3D is taking another big step in its mission to help the healthcare sector adopt 3D printing technologies. Working with the Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeons at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, axial3D will provide a new in-house 3D printing facility to serve Newcastle Hospitals in England.
The point-of-care 3D print lab will be used primarily to produce patient-specific 3D printed models to improve patient care and surgical planning. The additive manufacturing facility will also place an important emphasis on automated workflows so that doctors and clinicians can spend more time focusing on patients and less time monitoring prints.
The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is in the top 10% of best performing Trusts in the UK, will first install a 3D printer at the Royal Victoria Infirmary to be used for day-to-day tasks. If the demand for 3D printed models surpasses the printer’s capacity, excess print jobs will be made at axial3D’s head office in Belfast and promptly shipped to the clinician who made the order.
Within the medical sector, patient-specific 3D printed anatomical models are becoming increasingly sought after. One of the main benefits of having a bespoke 3D printed model is that it enables surgeons to better prepare for and plan surgical operations, helping to reduce the potential length of the procedure.
For instance, Dr. Andrew Bowey, a spinal surgeon at Newcastle Hospitals, was able to reduce a complex surgical procedure by 120 minutes for patient suffering from Spina Bifida and a kyphotic deformity. Not only did the shorter operation time reduce the risk for the patient, but it also saved significant money—around £8,000!
“3D printing has become an essential part of pre-operative planning in complex spinal cases,” said Dr. Bowey. “In Newcastle, we’re excited to now roll 3D printing out across the trust. The benefits in other areas, such as trauma, are clear to see.”
Daniel Crawford, CEO at axial3D, echoed the excitement about the rollout, saying: “The Orthopaedic and Spinal team at Newcastle Hospitals have an international reputation for their ground-breaking work on complex conditions. We are excited to be working closely with the team to assist in making medical 3D printing routine practice within the Trust, to ultimately help improve the quality of patient care across the region.
“3D printing is revolutionizing how we deliver patient care. axial3D has created a cost effective and easy method for hospitals such as Newcastle to provide this technology to their patients, without impacting day to day workloads. We warmly welcome Newcastle to the growing number of institutions who have selected axial3D as their medical 3D printing partner across the world.”
In the past year, axial3D has experienced notable growth. After partnering with the University of Basel in Switzerland to deliver 3D printed anatomical models, the company also racked up a $3 million investment to expand its medical 3D printing solution to the U.S. market. The company currently has partnerships with a number of academic institutions—including Innovate UK, the University of Ulster, RSNA, DICOM, biobank and University College Dublin—and industry partners such as Formlabs, Blackford, GoPrint3D, Invest Northern Ireland, Rimasys and Amazon Web Services.