Goal: Use 3D printing to create kidney models that can be imaged with medical ultrasound equipment. Realistic and ultrasound-compatible kidney models could be used for medical education, training, or for development and testing of ultrasound-based therapy systems.
Results: In order to print out of a material that responds in a similar manner to a kidney, the team need to use a syringe printer. Instead of heating up the plastic filament in the conventional 3D printing manner, the material is extruded out of a syringe by a plunger. After much research and testing, the team felt that silicone would best mirror the properties of a kidney for ultrasounding purposes. Using our club room and resources, the team has assembled a syringe printer and have received an STL for the kidney from the client. Next, the team will start testing their design with ultrasound.
The client came to us because he had not been able to get a grant from the school for this project. Our club presented an easy and accessible way for him as a faculty member at UW to pursue it. In exchange, the team got valuable mentorship on a unique engineering project.