Our team: Biomedisch printen

Authors : Laurens Parmentier & Juan Carlos Cao Yao

Authors: Laurens Parmentier & Juan Carlos Cao Yao

We want to use 3D-printing to create cost-effective and adjustable medical devices that only involve the use of a 3D-printer and materials that are widely available all over the world. After a period of extensive research our team came up with the following projects:

  1. Water purifier

  2. Bottle opener

  3. Dentistry handle

  4. Tracheostomy inner cannula

Water purifier

Waterborne diseases result in significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Diarrhoea is a common characterisation for these diseases which leads towards dehydration and possibly death. Unsafe water usage leading to diarrhoea accounts for 3.6% of the total daily burden of disease and 1.6 million deaths every year according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). [1]

It is therefore paramount to tackle this problem with Med3DP. We want to design a scalable and printable device that produces purified water through usage of renewable energy after collection from unsafe water supplies .

[1] Nwabor O. F. et al.,  Water and Waterborne diseases: a Review. IJ TDH. 2016; 12(4)

Water purifier.png

This device can be easily adapted to the size of every bottle by scaling up or down with the scaling tool avaialble in the 3D-printing software Cura. Currently the water purifier is designed for a bottle with 10 cm diameter. Adapting the device for a new bottle involves the following steps:

  1. Measure the diameter of the new bottle

  2. Compute a scaling factor by dividing the new diameter by the one which is designed for (10 cm)

  3. Put this in into the printing software

  4. Print and enjoy!

Water purifier cause.PNG

Unsafe water is collected and poured into the lower part of the plastic bottle after which the sun will supply UV-light and heat to purify and evaporate the collected water. After condensation in the uppart part of the bottle, the water can be collected. The collector tube is connected to the 3D-printed device by a tube attachment which prevents leaking. Painting the upper and lower part white and black respectively might facilitate the purifiying process even more.

Water purifier scaling.png

The final cost, comprised of the material cost and the energy cost, is optimised by adjusting the printer settings (layer height and infill). This optimised cost sums up to 1.53 euros with 46 g of PLA needed (material cost) and 3h40 of print time (energy cost).


Bottle opener


Arthritis is a disease which is comprised of more than 100 subtypes. The most common one is osteoarthritis. It is estimated that 78 million people will have arthritis by 2040. The symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness and a reduced range of motion. [2]

It is therefore our intention to create a device which easily opens metal cans, glass and plastic bottles. We worked together for this with Makers Making Change to come up with an all-in-one device that is easily printed.

The optimised final cost is obtained after adjusting towards an appropriate layer height and infill. This cost amounts to 0.88 euros with 26 g of PLA needed (material cost) and 2h30 of print times (energy cost).

[2] Arthritis foundation. (2019). Arthritis. [online] Available at: https://www.arthritis.org/ [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].


Dentistry handle

Bad oral hygiene is the cause of cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, oral cancer and many more. It has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. [3]

Our readily printable handles allow dentists to perform a quick check-up of the patients teeth under the most frugal conditions. All you need is a stainless steel paperclip and just wrap it around the handle.

3D priting the handle costs only 0.14 euros with 4 g of PLA needed (material cost) and 1h on the 3D-printer (energy cost).

[3] Healthline. (2019). Oral Health Basics: Symptoms, Types, Causes & More. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health#risks-and-complications [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].


Tracheostomy inner cannula

Inner cannula.jpg

A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure by which an incision is made to extract strange bodies, perform biopsies and clean infection.

Some reasons for a tracheostomy: anaphylaxis, birth defects of the airway, burns of the airway from inhalation of corrosive material, cancer in the neck, chronic lung disease, coma, diaphragm dysfunction and facial burns or surgery. [4]

After consultation with nurses from St. James Hospital, we decided to make a cost-effective alternative by using 3D-printing.

Our final design consists of the 3D-printed part together with plastic tubing that is commonly used in the medical field and which can be sterilised. This design can be made for 0.21 euros by including the cost of the piece of tubing that was needed here, the 4 g of PLA needed (material cost) and 1h on the 3D-printer (energy cost). This is significantly cheaper than the commercial device which costs 2.21 euros.

[4] Healthline. (2019). Tracheostomy: Purpose, Procedure, and Risks. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/tracheostomy [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].