In Santiago of Chile, Copper3D Inc., the company that develops antimicrobial materials for 3D printing, has partnered with Toylisto, an online platform to turn 2D drawings into 3D printable designs called “Art Toys”. Combining these two technologies, Copper3D and ToyListo developed these antimicrobial 3D printed toys, in a beautiful project that seeks to ease the emotional well-being and recovery of children suffering from complex illnesses and immunosuppression. These children are often placed in clinical isolation and thus have no access to conventional toys, which by their characteristics (porous polymers and complex geometries), harbor a high bacterial burden that can be very dangerous for their health.
The pediatric Hospital Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna was chosen to pilot this innovative project, starting from the Oncology Unit, where children are in clinical isolation. They now can create their own drawings and see them turned into real toys for them to play safely with, even inside the isolation units.
“This project was born with the objective that we have as a company to do something really different and of social impact”, said Esteban Ruiz-Tagle, founder of Toylisto, “Hence, in some conversations with Daniel Martínez from Copper3D about combining the technologies of both companies, the idea made sense immediately. We ran a few tests and went to Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna Children’s Hospital to offer our services with the antibacterial material of Copper3D. After several meetings, we obtained the approval to become suppliers in an unprecedented service anywhere in the world: to turn children’s drawings into collectible figures, safe for children with complex diseases that cause immunosuppression. But none of this would have been possible without the antibacterial characteristics of the PLACTIVE material and the safety ensured by all the studies, certifications and approvals that it has received.”
“What we are most happy about – Ruiz-Tagle continued – is that, for the first time, children who have had to abandon pets, teddies and toys because of the health risks they carried, will now be able to dream, play and have fun safely with the ‘Art Toys’ by Toylisto”
Antimicrobial 3D printed toys go global
This project, in addition to having the unique component transforming these children’s creativity into a 3D printed collectible figure, provides another very innovative element: the figures that each of these children receives is made with the new antimicrobial materials developed by Copper3D. These new antimicrobial materials (or “active nanocomposites” as Copper3D refers to them) are revolutionizing the biomedical 3D printing industry and have been tested by NASA for 3D printing of medical devices on the International Space Station (ISS).
“For us, this project has been a path full of learning and has allowed us to fully comply with the main purpose of our company,” said Daniel Martínez, CINO and co-founder of Copper3D. “[We were able to] utilize innovation and cutting-edge technology to improve the quality of life of people. This is exactly what we have done in this project with Toylisto, to use cutting edge technology in 3D design and new antimicrobial materials to allow these children in clinical isolation to play with unique figures, designed by themselves and manufactured with a clean, safe and certified material. We are also proud that the prestigious Luis Calvo Mackenna Children’s Hospital has trusted our companies to pilot this project – Martinez continued – that we plan to extend to other hospitals in Chile and, through our international networks, to other pediatric hospitals in the USA, Europe, South Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East.”
This is just one more example of the impact that Antimicrobial 3D Printing can have and it poses a very promising future in the use of this technology for other applications and solutions in the biomedical segment, but also in other industries such as aerospace, food packaging, animal care, and mass consumption products.
“For our hospital,” said Dr. Jorge Lastra, Director of the Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital, “it is an element of pride to be a benchmark in innovation and to be able to incorporate these new technologies that have already been tested and validated internationally, in the treatment and well-being of our children, especially in those that are in more complex conditions such as immunosuppression and clinical isolation. We hope with this initiative to mark an important milestone and to be able to show the world that from Chile, with creativity and technology, great projects of global impact can be made and that they also have a positive impact on the quality of life of our children.”
Toylisto and Copper3D want to produce and donate 100 #AntimicrobialArtToys this year for the children of this hospital. You can support them in this effort and make a donation here.