The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched the NIH 3D Print Exchange, a public website that allows users to download, share and edit 3-D files related to health and science.
The NIH uses 3-D printing to examine viruses, repair lab equipment and plan medical procedures. The files can be used to print custom laboratory equipment, models of bacteria and human anatomy.
The site also comes with video tutorials, a discussion forum and features tools that convert scientific and clinical data into ready-to-print 3-D files.
“3-D printing is a potential game changer for medical research,” NIH director Francis S. Collins, PhD, stated in a press release. “We hope that the 3D Print Exchange will expand interest and participation in this new and exciting field among scientists, educators and students.”
The 3D Print Exchange is a shared effort led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and funded in part by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The launch coincided with the first White House Maker Faire, an event designed to celebrate US innovation in science, technology, engineering and math.