£47 million facilities established in the University of Sheffield for advanced industrial technologies

Three new research centers for advanced engineering and industrial technologies, such as additive manufacturing, have opened within the University of Sheffield.

The £47 million facilities, which are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UK Research and Innovation, and the University of Sheffield, will help companies develop new technologies to cut costs and lead times, creating more efficient industrial processes.

“Each center will build upon the UK’s scientific research leadership to equip industry in the key priorities of the Government’s Industrial Strategy so that we have a high-skilled, high-tech, high-performance economy which is fit for the future,” said Jake Berry, Member of Parliament for Rossendale and Darwen and Minister for the Northern Powerhouse proposal.

Left to right: MP Jake Berry, Professor Mike Hounslow, Mayor Dan Jarvis, Professor Gill Valentine, and James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region. Photo via the University of Sheffield.
Left to right: MP Jake Berry, Professor Mike Hounslow, Mayor Dan Jarvis, Professor Gill Valentine, and James Newman.

The high-technology, advanced manufacturing facilities

Located within the Sheffield City Region’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, the three centers include the Royce Translational Centre (RTC), the Laboratory for Verification and Validation (LVV), and the Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research Centre (ICAIR). The 3,000 sq.m high-technology facilities, joins the previously established Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) – a factory which developed a new patent-pending hybrid 3D printing process with Boeing for manufacturing polymer components.

The RTC will focus on evolving novel materials and processing techniques for trial in the industry and is currently collaborating with companies such as Siemens, Renishaw, Arcam, Aconity3D, Liberty Steel, Metalysis and Metron. Metron Advanced Equipment Limited, based in Derbyshire, is working with the RTC to produce aerospace and automotive parts, such as jet engine components and turbochargers, from Titanium Aluminides (TiAl) using additive manufacturing.

Furthermore, the LVV will enable research into the optimal design and operation of advanced engineering structures when exposed to real-world vibration and environmental conditions. On the other hand, the ICAIR will facilitate investigations into the power of optimization, data, AI, robotics and advanced manufacturing techniques for the field of infrastructure to increase industrial productivity.

“I’m proud to work closely with the University of Sheffield and applaud the standard of research, of ambition and of innovation that has made these new engineering centers a reality,” explained Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.

An aircraft within the University of Sheffield's research facilities. Photo via the University of Sheffield.
An aircraft within the University of Sheffield’s research facilities. Photo via the University of Sheffield.

The University of Sheffield accelerates 3D printing technologies

Research stemming from the University of Sheffield has consistently demonstrated the innovative capabilities of industrial additive manufacturing. Last year, the university’s departments of Mechanical and Electronic & Electrical proposed an alternative high-speed metal 3D printing technique to surpass existing laser melting methods.

Following this, Dr. Nick Weston from the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Sheffield led the development of FAST-forge, a disruptive technology that decreases costs of 3D printing materials through powder or particulate two-step processing.

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Featured image shows an aircraft within the University of Sheffield’s research facilities. Photo via the University of Sheffield. 

Zhejiang University’s largest movable 3D printed grotto depicts origins of Chinese Buddhist art

Conservationists from the Yungang Grottoes Research Institute and Zhejiang University (ZJU) have created movable replicas of its 3D printed ancient Buddhist statues.

The Yungang Grottoes, a UNESCO world heritage site located west of Beijing near the city of Datong, contains over 50,000 statues, carved into golden sandstone cliffs and displays the origins of Chinese Buddhist art.

The full-size reproduced grotto is 14 meters long, 11 meters wide, nine meters high and weighs less than 5 metric tons and is said to be the world’s largest movable grotto printed by 3D technology.

Yungang Grottoes are a cradle of Buddhist art, playing host to more than 51,000 sculptures. Photo by Zhang Xingjian.
Yungang Grottoes is a cradle of Buddhist art, playing host to more than 50,000 sculptures. Photo by Zhang Xingjian.

Conserving Chinese Buddhist art

Last year, replicas of the three statues from the Yungang Grottoes, measuring six, ten and six meters respectively, were scanned and 3D printed after they were determined to be at risk from weathering. Following this, the statues were displayed in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao.

Nonetheless, due to the time taken to install the displays and its weight, the replicas were not able to be moved. Recognizing this, a team from Zhejiang University, produced a lightweight version of the 3D printed statues that can be divided into various parts and assembled within a week.

3D Digital reconstruction of a Yungang statue. Image via Yungang Grottoes.
3D Digital reconstruction of a Yungang statue. Image via Yungang Grottoes.

The team collected high precision 3D data and kept error within two millimeters, then used additive manufacturing to print the pieces of the statutes in approximately six months. According to Zhang Zhuo, Head of the Yungang Grottoes Research Institute, the movable statues have “passed experts’ tests” and will be added to future exhibition tours along with the institute’s other cultural relics.

The three ancient Buddhist statues, which are depicted with Chinese and Western musical instruments, derive from the original cave No. 12, also called “Cave of Music,” in the Yungang Grottoes which represents the highest artistic level of Yungang.

“We plan to color it with mineral pigments before the end of this year. In this way, the replica will maintain its original size, texture, and color,” added Zhuo.

Zhejiang University and 3D printing

Zhejiang University has demonstrated its understanding of 3D printing technologies through its innovative research. Earlier this year, a group of researchers from the university proposed a new method of 3D nanofabrication by combining ice and electron beam technology to print large-scale metal parts.

Prior to this, Zhejiang University, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and Stockholm University, identified ultra-mechanical properties in a popular 3D printable steel alloy which can potentially “program” steel molecules to make high-strength, ductile products, for use high-performance applications.

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Featured image shows the 3D printed Yungang Grottoes. Photo by Zhang Xingjian.

Formnext 2018 3D printing premieres to see in Frankfurt next month

Formnext has rapidly established itself as a must-attend event in the crowded calendar of 3D printing shows.

Taking place from 3 to 16 November 2018, 550 exhibitors from across the additive manufacturing ecosystem will present the latest technology at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds. In 2017, more than 21,000 visitors attended the third edition of the trade show.

For 2018, exhibition hall 3 is fully booked and it is anticipated that visitor numbers will set a new record. The fourth edition of formnext will include the AM Standards Forum, a transatlantic summit organized by Formnext in conjunction with the U.S. Commercial Service, along with German and American partners.

In the coming weeks 3D Printing Industry will be taking a look at what to expect from this year’s show. And, much like Christmas, it seems the announcements commence earlier every year.

Arburg Freeformer 300-3X

German machine manufacturer Arburg will be showing a new AM system. The Freeformer 300-3X is an industrial 3D printing system that will be unveiled to the public during Formnext 2018.

“For many years, users have appreciated the benefits of our Freeformer 200-3X and the possibilities that the system and Arburg Plastic Freeforming have to offer,” said Lukas Pawelczyk, of Arburg. “As a revolutionary next step, we’re celebrating the world premiere of the Freeformer 300-3X at the Formnext 2018, which will expand the Arburg product range and open up new fields of application. For the first time worldwide, complex and resilient functional parts can be produced from three components in hard/soft combination with support structure using this machine for industrial additive manufacturing – that’s unique in the industry.”

Arburg will be in hall 3.1, Booth E70.

The Arburg freeformer 300-3X.
The Arburg freeformer 300-3X.

LEO Lane SaaS for IP protection

Tel Aviv’s LEO Lane will be in Frankfurt to demonstrate, “how corporations can uphold brand integrity and IP protection by securely managing additive manufacturing, each and every time parts are produced.” The IP management system is providing as a SaaS solution which can create digital assets or  a LEO – Limited Edition Object – file.

“The benefits of additive manufacturing are widespread and well-recognized, but they come with perils,” says Moshe Molcho, LEO Lane’s Co-Founder and CEO. “We are meeting these issues head-on with a solution that ensures lock-tight protection for brands using additive manufacturing in virtual inventories, on-demand production, or other production capacities.”

Learn more about LEO Lane in Hall 3.1, Stand B30A.

Co-Founder and VP Business at LEO Lane
Lee-Bath Nelson Co-Founder and VP Business at LEO Lane

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting the latest development in laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) metal additive technology. As we reported recently, this new system is able to reduce the residual stresses resulting from the additive manufacturing process.

Fraunhofer ILT, and other enterprises from the group, will be at booth E70 in hall 3.0.

The future of Formnext

Formnext is already looking to 2019, with bigger things planned. Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President for Formnext at Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, said, “The fact that we’ve been able to occupy all the exhibition space so well even after expanding again underlines the highly dynamic and sustainable growth of Formnext, which is impressive confirmation of the exhibition concept that we have developed together with the industry.”

In 2019 Formnext will move recently constructed exhibition Hall 12 of the Frankfurt exhibition grounds. When combined with Hall 11, this will provides exhibition space of around 58,000 square meters, an significant increase on the 36,000 sold for 2018.

For a discount on tickets for formnext 2018, click here and use the discount code FN0993.

The 3D Printing Industry team will of course be at Formnext, so if you’d like to meet please get in contact through the usual channels.

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Featured image shows GE posters at Formnext 2016. Photo by Michael Petch.

The Second Munich Technology Conference: Developing a successful additive manufacturing ecosystem

Oerlikon Group’s Second Munich Technology Conference (MTC2) took place this week with industry professionals from all over the world converging to discuss the industrialization of additive manufacturing.

3D Printing Industry returned for the second year to join over 1000 attendees spanning across the two-day conference, a significant increase compared to the estimated 600 attendees of MTC1 last year.

Addressing the current hurdles and potential solutions within the industry, experts from the MTC2 shared a plethora of ideas for a successful additive manufacturing ecosystem. Dr Michael Süss, Chairman of the board of directors, Oerlikon Group, explained:

“This huge challenge of additive with its immense opportunities can only be handled by our community, by an ecosystem, and not by a single party.”

The factors affecting additive manufacturing industrialization

Throughout my time at the MTC2, I recognized recurring factors of concern for a prosperous additive manufacturing industry. This included collaboration and digitization, material development, and advancements in the academic curriculum.

Such themes remained equally emphasized throughout the conference, particularly on the first day of MTC2 during the industrial talk on additive manufacturing and the role of academics, businesses, and government.

“It’s not easy to adopt additive, that industrialization is going to take time,” said David Joyce, a Vice Chair of GE and President and CEO for GE Aviation.

“The materials systems are complicated, the machine durability needs to be better, so I think that the adoption is about all of us starting on this journey of showing positive innovation within the industry. This will get a broader user base to make the technology become more mainstream as an industrial solution.”

(Left to right) Moderator Dr. Melinda Crane,Dr. Roland Fischer CEO of Oerlikon Group, David Joyce CEO of GE Aviation, and Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Digital Factory Division at Siemens. Photo by Tia Vialva.
(Left to right) Moderator Dr. Melinda Crane, Dr. Roland Fischer CEO of Oerlikon Group, David Joyce CEO of GE Aviation, and Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Digital Factory Division at Siemens. Photo by Tia Vialva.

Collaboration and digitization

Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Digital Factory Division at Siemens, advocated for increased collaboration from businesses within the industry. “With additive manufacturing, we have the opportunity to generate entirely new shapes, better designs, and cut down logistics. These advantages have to talk to people, therefore we have to make additive manufacturing simple.”

“The ideal would, of course, be a worldwide platform where knowledge and knowhow around additive manufacturing can be brought together in one kind of gigantic ecosystem. This digital umph lead to the creation of our additive manufacturing network.”

“A place where everyone can hook into a cloud-based system, be it machine builders, material providers, designers, the ones who would like products printed, those that print products for others, software providers; all of these people can contribute and plug into such a platform. This forms a knowledge-sharing and transnational perspective to promote the practical usage of additive manufacturing.”

Advancing tertiary curriculums

Highlighting the importance of academia as well as collaboration, Joyce explained:

“Partnerships today will be totally different next year. In regulatory, we have a very very aggressive dialogue with the FAA and we understand how to certify additive parts. One of the other partnerships that is important are universities. We’re looking for young graduates who understand how to use additive [manufacturing]which requires a different skill set than they have today.”

“There will be a shift in curriculum for the traditional engineer if we are to be successful. Design in the next decade is going to be rapidly different than what we’re teaching today. Designs will become so organic in the future [and]there’s no reason for it not to be because you don’t pay for complexity in additive manufacturing the way you pay for complexity in traditional manufacturing.”

“Curriculums that teach design have got to change, they have to create a toolset so designers think differently of the restrictions of what can be made today. This means the manufacturing classes, the material classes, and the design classes have to change.”

Mrosik added, “[Additive manufacturing] starts with academia to really train people to be able to use its advantages. And, materials science needs to support these new designs.”

(Left to right) Moderator Dr. Melinda Crane,Dr. Roland Fischer CEO of Oerlikon Group, David Joyce CEO of GE Aviation, and Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Digital Factory Division at Siemens. Photo by Tia Vialva.
(Left to right) Moderator Dr. Melinda Crane,Dr. Roland Fischer CEO of Oerlikon Group, David Joyce CEO of GE Aviation, and Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Digital Factory Division at Siemens. Photo by Tia Vialva.

Considering the factors discussed to create a successful additive manufacturing ecosystem, Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of Oerlikon Group, stated, “The most crucial element for me is that we must maintain a focus. We are all excited, but there are plenty of ideas and processes that have yet to be properly understood. Let us understand how to orchestrate this new technology other we will be in danger of missing something.”  

Although the factors affecting the industrialization of additive manufacturing differ in importance from the industry experts, it is evident from my time at the MTC2 that the goal of 3D printing reaching a broader market remains the same.

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Featured image shows the exterior of the Second Munich Technology Conference. Photo by Tia Vialva.

Formnext 2018 3D writing (generic term) premieres to see in Frankfurt on the Main adjacent calendar month

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The 2nd Munich engineering Conference: underdeveloped a boffo accumulative manufacturing system (generic term)

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Review: Copymaster 3D 300 desktop 3D printer

The Copymaster 3D 300 is a sub $1,000 (or sub £500) FFF/FDM system from UK-based 3D printer provider Copymaster 3D. With a build area of 300 x 300 x 400 mm the Copymaster 3D 300 is a larger-than-average desktop system, offering ample build volume for industrial, prototyping and functional 3D printing applications.

The 3D Printing Industry engineering team performed a detailed review of the Copymaster 3D 300’s features and how the printer performed a range of tasks appropriate to the intended application. Read on for the results and to find out if this low-cost desktop 3D printer is good value.

Copymaster 300 3D printer
Copymaster 300 3D printer

Setup and filament detection

The Copymaster 3D 300 is a pre-assembled 3D printer, meaning that the minimal remaining initial setup was a straightforward task. Accordingly, the engineering team determined that is was almost impossible to incorrectly assemble the system.

The process involves following guide holes and reference points to help in attaching the build plate and loading a spool of filament. The build plate of the 3D printer is magnetic, making it easy to remove, and flexible to facilitate part removal after printing. Both of these features proved very useful throughout testing.

The Copymaster 3D printer also has an in-built filament detector which automatically pauses the system when filaments runs out or breaks. Our engineers tested this capability by 3D printing a sample object in two filaments with different colors but the same print settings. The result is incredibly neat, and restarting the print proved no problem for the Copymaster 3D 300.

Two color filament detection test on the Copymaster 3D 300.
Two color filament detection test on the Copymaster 3D 300.

Print quality

According to technical specifications provided, the Copymaster 3D 300 offers a Z accuracy to 50 μm. The models detailed in the table below were selected to test the print quality.

Model Scale (%) Layer height (mm) Speed (mm/s) Bed temperature (°C) Print temperature (°C) Infill (%) Support
Bust of Napoléon 100 0.2 50 60 205 15 Touching build plate
Michelangelo’s Pieta 80 0.15 50 60 205 15 Everywhere
The Thinker by Rodin 80 0.1 50 60 205 15 Everywhere

 

All surfaces of the tested 3D prints were smooth and captured excellent details of the original models. A variety of layer heights were tried, and 0.15 mm proved to be the optimal parameter in the trade-off between quality and speed.

 

Michelangleo’s Pieta, detailed model test.
Michelangleo’s Pieta, detailed model test.

The lower layer height of 0.1 mm however, as seen in The Thinker model, was almost perfect. The only notable defects in this test 3D print were due to artifacts left by support removal.

The Thinker detail test print.
The Thinker detail test print.

We experienced no problems when 3D printing each of these models, and the quality achieved was impressively high for each model the Copymaster 300 handled.

In a further quality test, the team assessed the extruder’s retraction ability. A vase designed with lattice-like walls requires the 3D printer to rapidly extrude and retract filament. In the finished article no wires or stringing can be observed between the gaps of the vase’s intricate latticework.

Retraction test on the Copymaster 3D 300
Retraction test on the Copymaster 3D 300

Functional 3D printing and making use of the build plate

To further explore the Copymaster 3D 300’s large build area, our team 3D printed a replica World Cup trophy, and a plaque displaying the emblem of the City of London. The replica trophy made use of the 3D printer’s build height (up to 400 mm) and the plaque reached across the build plate. Both models were reproduced at a high quality without error.

 

Another victorious 3D print on the Copymaster 3D 300.
Another victorious 3D print on the Copymaster 3D 300.

To assess functionality in terms of various applications, the engineering team 3D printed a medical model, a mechanical component, and functional/moving gears. A large bone model, screw and nut, and planetary gear all achieved great results.

As required, the bone has a smooth surface finish and again makes use of the machine’s build area.

Bone printed on Copymaster 3D 300 and comparision to orginal below.
Bone printed on Copymaster 3D 300 and comparison to original below.

Printed side by side, the screw and nut fit together perfectly without the need for finishing or much force.

Nut and bolt.

And the planetary gears move easily when removed from the build plate.

Planetary gears
Planetary gears

Overview of the Copymaster 3D 300

In summary, the Copymaster 3D 300 offers a high print quality that opens up many possible 3D printing applications. Due to its size, the system is suitable for an industrial setting, making prototypes and functional mechanisms. The impressive quality of the prints from this machine also lend it to projects that require a high level of detail, such as medical models and replica sculptures for an education setting, or representative product development.

The system requires no technical knowledge for set up, and was a pleasure to use. Features like the magnetic and flexible build plate, and the filament detector are a handy bonus that add to the overall user friendliness of the machine.

At an attractive price, we believe this 3D printer offers good value for money, and has the potential to become an efficient tool for a variety of workshops.

The Copymaster 3D 300, alongside the larger Copymaster 3D 400 and Copymaster 3D 500 models are available to buy directly from Copymaster 3D here.

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Featured image shows the Copymaster 3D 300 3D printer.

Rolls-Royce Advance3 engine to “pioneer” aerospace with 3D printing and advanced materials

Rolls-Royce has announced that 3D printing is leading the way for the next generation of aircraft engines.

The Advance3 engine will form the core of the company’s UltraFan engine design, scheduled for launch in 2025.

The Advance3 engine uses 3D printing, or Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM), to make some of the 20,000 components. Also included in the engine are ceramic matrix composites (CMCs).

Rolls-Royce says that over 100 hours of testing have been completed and “Initial results are showing excellent performance”.

An earlier Rolls-Royce engine, the Trent XWB-97, featured the largest additive manufactured component flown. The 1.5 meter diameter titanium structure was 3D printed on a metal AM system from Arcam. Now Arcam is owned by Rolls-Royce competitor, GE, it remains to be seen what AM system Rolls-Royce will use for the Advance3.

An Arcam Spectra H on display at Farnborough Airshow. Photo by Michael Petch.
An Arcam Spectra H on display at Farnborough Airshow. Photo by Michael Petch.

Advanced materials and additive manufacturing for aerospace

The use of advanced materials and manufacturing is key to the early success of the project. “ALM allows engineers to create new designs for parts, and for those parts to be made and redesigned more quickly. CMCs last longer in high temperatures and are lighter than metal alternatives,” explained Rolls-Royce.

Ash Owen, Rolls-Royce, Chief Engineer, Civil Aerospace Demonstrator Programmes, said: “Testing so far has been completely seamless, which is an outstanding achievement when you realise that this is an engine incorporating a range of new technologies as well as a brand new core architecture. We have completed our first phase of testing and analysing the results right now. We like what we see from the CMC and ALM parts performance. ”

Testing of the Advance3 began in November 2017 , with full power levels reached in July.

The aerospace industry has already started to use CMCs due to their ability to operate in extreme temperature environments, such as the hot section of the engine. As temperatures increase in the engine fuel use becomes more efficient, and therefore operating costs lower for airlines.

Through use of CMCs and 3D printing, the Advance3 core,  “will offer a 25 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency compared with a first generation Trent engine.” Increased fuel efficiency will also result in lower emissions.

The project is funded by Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) in association with Innovate UK and Clean Sky 2.

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Digital Metal announces automation to advance serial metal additive production

Digital Metal, a metal AM system manufacturer, has launched a fully automated production concept.

The Swedish company is the manufacturer of the DM P2500 metal 3D printer, a binder jetting metal additive system that has demonstrated the capacity to make highly detailed components at resolutions to 35 µm. A secondary sintering process is required to remove binders.

Digital Metal says that its metal AM systems have already produced over 300,000 components. Furthermore, several systems are operating in serial production to produce series in the region of 40,000 parts.

The company will now add automation to the production process.

“Most AM technologies show a very low level of automation”, explained Ralf Carlström, General Manager at Digital Metal. “Our aim is to change that. With the new no-hand production line, our customers can further improve their productivity and lower the production costs. Almost all manually intensive work can be eliminated and in addition the powders removed in the cleaning machine can be recirculated in the process, thus minimizing waste. As we see it, the Digital Metal technology is now applicable for serial production of high-volume components.”

The Digital Metal DM P2500 3D printer. Photo by Beau Jackson
The Digital Metal DM P2500 3D printer. Photo by Beau Jackson

Automating additive manufacturing for industrialization

Digital Metal says that a large number of the process steps will be taken care of by a robot. This will, “eliminate practically all manual work thus further increasing productivity.”

The automated processes includes a robot to load and remove the build chambers from the 3D printer and pass these build boxes to a post-processing stage. During post-processing automation of powder removal is performed using a CNC de-powdering machine and a pick-and-place robot.

Once surplus metal powder is removed it is sent for recycling, while the green parts are added to sintering plates by the robot. These plates are then automatically sent to the debinding and sintering stage.

“We believe there is a huge potential for our unique technology,” says Ralf Carlström. “Not only is it very fast and cost-effective, it is also able to create complicated and highly detailed designs with wide material choice.”

Digital Metal is working with a number of enterprises including, Honeywell, Koenigsegg, Mectron, Montfort Watches, CETIM (the French Technical Center for Mechanical Industries) and Volvo.

As part of the Höganäs Group, Digital Metal has access to its parent companies expertise as the the world’s largest producer of metal powders.

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Featured image shows Digital Metal 3D printed figures. Photo by Michael Petch.

Qatar’s first conjoined twin separation surgery made possible by 3D printing

Sidra Medicine, a specialist medical facility, has announced a successful outcome for a complex medical procedure.

A nine-hour operation to separate conjoined twins, Hamad and Tamim, was the culmination of months work by a team of more than 150 medical and support staff.

The important milestone and successful outcome was achieved through planning the procedure using over 30 hours of simulation. Central to planning was the creation of 3D printed model of the twin’s abdomen and liver.

Dr. Mansour Ali, Chair of the Department of Pediatric Surgery and Dr. Abdalla Zarroug, Division Chief of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, led the surgery and commented, “By successfully separating conjoined twins, one of the most complex surgical procedures there is, we are proud to showcase the calibre of our multidisciplinary teams less than a year since we opened our inpatient facility. The surgery is both a milestone for the hospital and the healthcare sector in Qatar.”

The likelihood of a conjoined twin birth is approximately 1 in 200,000. The mother of the twins visited the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in the 29th week of pregnancy where medical professionals identified the complication. Planning for the eventual separation was then put into action.

3D model of twin’s abdomen

Dr. Karen Bradshaw, Snr. Attending Physician, Radiology and Body Imaging at Sidra Medicine gave further details of the procedure. “I am incredibly proud of the role of our radiology team during all stages of this milestone surgery – from the initial detailed ultrasound to the subsequent CT and MRI scans which enabled us to prepare the 3D model of the twin’s abdomen. The 3D model was printed based on the specifications from the scans and was used as part of the pre-surgery planning process. It is a key feature that sets our services apart here in Qatar and the region. The success of this surgery was a fantastic showcase of a multidisciplinary team spirit and how different pediatric specialties work together for the best possible patient outcomes.”

As previously reported, 3D printing has become a vital tool for planning surgery in rare medical cases. One of the most widely known cases in that of Jadon and Anias McDonald. A remarkable 27 hour surgery was performed at the U.S. Montefiore Medical Center, and supported by experts from 3D Systems.

Katie Weimer and Mike Rensberger of 3D Systems hold a 3D printed surgical model used in the operation on conjoined MacDonald twins. Photo via CNN
Katie Weimer and Mike Rensberger of 3D Systems hold a 3D printed surgical model used in the operation on conjoined MacDonald twins. Photo via CNN

Dr. Abdulla Al Kaabi, Chief Medical Officer at Sidra Medicine said, “What a proud moment for the team at Sidra Medicine and the healthcare network in Qatar. Today’s case is also indicative that we remain committed to our mission to provide children and women with outstanding tertiary healthcare services in an innovative and ultramodern facility specially designed to promote healing. The success of this surgery is a testament to the investment made by the State of Qatar in medical services, people and technology, that allows a hospital like ours to offer cutting-edge patient and family centered care. It also establishes Sidra Medicine as a key contender in the region to handle complex pediatric diseases.”

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