The National Institutes of Health has launched the NIH 3-D Print Exchange, a public website that enables users to share, download and edit 3-D print files related to health and science. These files can be used, for example, to print custom laboratory equipment and models of bacteria and human anatomy. This launch coincides with the first White House Maker Faire , an event designed to celebrate U.S. innovation in science, technology, engineering and math.
“3-D printing is a potential game changer for medical research,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “At NIH, we have seen an incredible return on investment; pennies’ worth of plastic have helped investigators address important scientific questions while saving time and money. We hope that the 3-D Print Exchange will expand interest and participation in this new and exciting field among scientists, educators and students.”
NIH uses 3-D printing, or the creation of a physical object from a digital model, to study viruses, repair and enhance lab apparatus, and help plan medical procedures. The 3-D Print Exchange makes these types of files freely available, along with video tutorials for new users and a discussion forum to promote collaboration. The site also features tools that convert scientific and clinical data into ready-to-print 3-D files.
The 3-D Print Exchange is a collaborative effort led by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “3-D printing is helping to advance science at NIAID and beyond,” said NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, M.D. “The ability to design and print tangible models of pathogens, for example, can give researchers a fresh perspective on the diseases they study and open new and promising lines of investigation.”
Date: June 18, 2014
Filed Under: Drug Discovery