Manufacturing a human heel in titanium via 3D printing

John E Barnes
Med J Aust 2015; 202 (3): 118. || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00052

3D printing continues to find new uses as more people get familiar with the capabilities of this relatively new manufacturing tool. Professor Peter Choong at Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital proved the adage “chance favours the prepared”. His patient faced losing a foot due to a cancerous heel, so he came up with the idea of a 3D-printed alternative. He engaged medical device company Anatomics to design the implant. The CSIRO's Lab 22 was contacted due to its capability in 3D printing and, within a week, a foot-saving replacement was used in surgery — a world first.

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  • John E Barnes

  • Future Manufacturing Flagship, CSIRO, Melbourne, VIC.



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