14-month-old boy's life is saved by a 3D-printed model of his heart

3D printers are really going to change the world, with the technology being used more and more in the healthcare industry. 3D printed human tissue, prosthetics and much more are being printed, but now 3D printers have saved a young boy’s life. 14-month-old Roland Lian Cung Bawi, son of two Burmese immigrants living in Owensboro, Kentucky, had major defects to his heart. 

Operating on a child’s heart is a challenging procedure. Not only is the organ (presumably) defective, but it’s also small, complex, and delicate. So when Louisville, KY heart surgeon Erle Austin was preparing to operate on 14-month-old Roland Lian Cung Bawi’s heart, he first showed the scans of the muscle to two other surgeons, both of whom gave him “conflicting advice on how to proceed,” according to the Courier-Journal. Then, Austin turned to the University of Louisville’s engineering school, which hooked him up with a MakerBot Replicator 2X. 

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