Li Xian-hui suffered a workplace accident that crushed his arm. Rallying from despair, he approached a local university, who figured out a solution - a 3D printed elbow joint. That's how they roll.
Our friends at 3Dprint.com made us aware of this guy - a 20-year old Chinese man Li Xian-hui who suffered a workplace accident.
Xian-hui's left arm (including wrist and elbow) was crushed by some heavy machinery, so reconstruction wasn't going to work, but the local hospital had done enough to save the arm. Xian-hui then reached out to the Dalian Medical University, which reached out for advice to Jilin University - already responsible for a 3D printed pelvis.
The steps (over a two-week period):
1. CT scan of the elbow. Sent to a prosthetics company in Beijing.
2. The company made a 3D printable file.
3. Printed an implant using laser sintering (from a titanium powder).
3. Implant fitted to Xian-hui's arm (between the humerus and ulna bones).
Apparently, because of the specificity of the implant, the surgery took half the time of regular elbow surgery.
And Xian-hui now has a titanium elbow joint stronger than the one it replaced.