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From the museum: Technology at hand

3D printing is shaping the future. At ATSU, the rapidly developing technology is offering solutions for students, instructors, and researchers. Now, it is even helping the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine recreate fragile items from its collection.

In 1897, the artist Howard Kretschmar, DO, created a statue of A.T. Still, DO. The statue was destroyed in the 1960s, and the only piece of the statue’s cast that remains intact is Dr. Still’s right hand. The plaster cast, which is on display at the museum, is too delicate for guests to handle.

Thanks to 3D printing, the original cast of Dr. Still’s hand was recreated to exact proportions. It measures nearly nine inches long and is printed with the durable material acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. The recreated hand took more than 20 hours to print.

“It’s amazing to be able to use this new technology to recreate an artifact that is more than 100 years old,” says Jason Haxton, MA, director, Museum of Osteopathic Medicine.

ATSU received its first 3D printer in 2015, and in November 2017, it received an additional, larger 3D printer. These printers, which are in use daily, are housed in the A.T. Still Memorial Library. Debra Loguda-Summers, CLSS, is the library’s public service and 3D print services manager and oversees printing projects on the Kirksville, Missouri, campus. Since the beginning of 2018, she has printed more than 1,200 3D objects.

“3D printing is enhancing education and research across the University,” says Loguda-Summers. “Along with printing requests from students, we have worked with several departments, the A.T. Still Research Institute, SparkTank winners, and now the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine.”

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