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Published on September 26th, 2016 | by Geetika Bhasin

Australian Researchers to Raise Funds by Crowdfunding for their Prosthetic 3D Printed Ears Project

3D printing is used in aerospace, automotive, and other manufacturing uses. It is being widely used in the health sector and has come up with miraculous results. 3D printing reversed birth defects in newborn and given 3D printed implants to walk again. Even conjoined twins have been separated with the aid of 3D printing equipment.

Capital investments are huge in this industry. They require massive resources to print models that could be useful in surgeries and other medical aids. Insurance companies are not very positive about the technology. The biggest hurdle is faced by start-ups who need to raise money for developing and launching complex 3D printing products.

A current project is being initiated by the Queensland University of Technology and the Hear and Say centre of Brisbane. FutureHear is a project which aims at creating prosthetic ears for children suffering from Microtia. In this condition, the ear is either underdeveloped or missing.

3D medical implants have earlier too faced difficulty in acquiring funds. Mia Woodruff is a researcher at the Queensland University, who is not very happy with the government’s ignorant attitude. Their project is getting delayed due to the lack of funds. In addition, people who can benefit from these technologies are being denied the privilege of the 3D printing services. The research team has, however, not given up. They have come up with a crowdfunding platform Pozible, to get aid from public for their endeavours. The Hear and Say centre held a workshop for microtia. Angelika Walton was attending this workshop. Her son has both his ears deformed and the researchers are working to develop his unique 3D printed ears.
Dimity Dornan, the Hear and Say Centre executive director said that a successful crowdfunding could give their project a big boost.

The 3D printed ears will be cost-effective and fully biological. They would be equipped with functional 3D printed hearing gear. The scanning methods used are completely safe. The material for 3D printing makes flexible and real-looking prosthetic ears. A total amount of $200,000 is expected to be raised by means of this campaign.



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