There have been plenty of publications covering the topic of 3D printing in medicine. It’s surely the factor that can streamline the progress and implementation of the newest technologies. By radically shortening the time between planting the idea in our minds and materializing it, we can provide help much faster, so it is in fact more efficient. More time saved translates simply to the shorter period of painful and stressful time of awaiting the surgery or during it.

These reasons, together with the talent and creativity, pushed one of our engineers to design, 3D print and assemble a high utility device – a varicose vein closing laser optic fibre winch. Although the name may be slightly confusing, the device itself is based on a simple mechanism that provides steady pace of withdrawing the optic fibre from the varicose blood vessel.

Fighting the Illness

But let’s get into the root of the problem. One of the most common of today’s diseases is the venous insufficiency that affects about 25 – 50 % of the whole population. The disease is curable, however the side effects of various therapies may result in postsurgical complications and prolonging the recuperation period. One of the key problems, which appeared during the one of the curing methods called ELVT varicose vein removal treatment, is the speed of withdrawing the fibre from the affected vein. During the typical surgery this was performed manually which couldn’t guarantee a constant and steady movement. That was mainly the cause of the improper vein closure and consequences like pain, bruises and problems with walking.


3D Printed Solutions to Common Problems

Thankfully, due to the winch that was 3D printed on the Zortrax M200, the problems can be eliminated. First of all, the device provides the unified speed of pulling the fibre from the vessel which is 1mm/s. Thanks to the fact that the device is automatic, it provides great convenience of use as there is no longer the need of doing it manually which is both tiring and imprecise. The shape of device was thoroughly considered to adjust it to the conditions and requirements of medical equipment. The fibre holder mechanism of the winch was carefully designed to allow releasing the laser fibre without threading the end of it from the device. What is more, the winch consists of modules that can be easily disassembled, so each element can be washed and sterilized after the surgery.

Efficient Healthcare Finally within the Reach

This simple, yet highly useful device is now an inseparable part of surgeries performed by one of the Polish specialists in the vascular surgery, dr Marcin Feliga. He arguments that “Proper tumescence (pressing the vessel lumen against the fibre) conducted with the use of the winch results in 100% correct closure of the vessel lumen. The winch makes surgical success.’’ That’s a considerable advantage, as the surgeon performs about 30-35 surgeries each month, which gives approximately 360-420 less postsurgical complications per year. Feliga also stresses the broad spectrum of opportunities given by 3D printing. In broader perspective the 3D printed winch serves as a great example of how 3D printing can contribute to better quality healthcare by providing the physicians with the proper tools in the right time.

An Everyday Must Have Device

The article simply shows the great versatility of a 3D printer. Apart from being a business tool that helps your budget increase by allowing fast prototyping and tooling it is a high utility device that serves people in need. Zortrax M200 3D printer, thanks to its high accuracy and quality of pint, can be used to create useful medical devices really fast and due to a specific purpose. By having this device you can not only get your ideas tangible and create one-of-a-kind device, but also make a valuable contribution to the development of science, industry or medicine – like one of Zortrax engineers did.

New Possibilities Utilized

The video presented in this post is a short interview with dr Marcin Feliga, that shares the opinion about 3D printing in medicine, just to convince you, that this particular technology and Zortrax M200 3D printer can create better working conditions and plentiful opportunities of future improvement in various fields. The way you decide to choose a 3D printer to serves you best is up to you. Focus on the return of investment thanks to the fast prototyping and time and cost cutting or faster return of somebody’s health. Have them both to see, that having a 3D printer can be a double win.


  • 3D Printing Applied to Robotics posted Oct 15, 2015 - 15:50

    […] surgeon with great experience in performing varicose veins surgeries says, in one of our previous posts, “The human factor is unreliable’’. This fact basically explains many attempts to use […]

    • Ludmiła Rafalska posted Oct 15, 2015 - 15:58

      @3dprototyping, tat’s great that you’ve found our article interesting. Don’t forget to check out Zortrax Model Library for more cool models.

  • Polish Artificial Heart 3D printed on Zortrax M200 ~ 3D Unique posted May 08, 2016 - 22:46

    […] in other applications of the 3D printing in medicine can find more in the article about the medical winch 3D printed on […]