Engineering Student Moore has 3D printed a woman for Radiation Therapy Research
Meagan Moore is a Biological and Agricultural Engineering student from Louisiana State University (LSU). In order to carry out the Phantom project, also known as Marie, the Engineering student has 3D printed the first “human body”, named Marie.
Meagan Moore wanted to figure out the ideal angle for dose distribution. To achieve this goal, she needed to test radiation exposure on a real-size human hence the 3D printing of a woman.
“Phantoms have been used in medical and health physics for decades as surrogates for human tissue,” Moore said. “The issue is that most dosimetric models are currently made from a standard when people of all body types get cancer. No personalized full-body phantoms currently exist.”
Why 3D printing a woman?
Marie is 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighs 15 pounds and she can hold 36 gallons of water for up to eight hours. Its fabrication only costed $500 and took 136 hours for the printing process on a BigRep 3D printer. However, before the printing process, 3D scans of 5 real women were carried out. Megan used bioplastic that can be filled with water to establish varying density similar to a patient.
To link the sections, Moore used a combination of soldering, friction stir welding, and sandblasting. She even used a hammer and chisel at times to take off chunks of plastic without damaging Marie. The main trouble was figuring out where to put the pipe for dose measurements. It ended up going down the midline from her head to her pelvic floor.
When asked why she chose to create a woman, she said: “I specifically wanted to work with a woman because, in science, women typically aren’t studied because they’re considered complex due to a variety of reasons. I want a person with the most complex geometry.”
“This project started from the art perspective, then became science,” said Moore, who initially wanted to double major in art and science before discovering BAE. “I love talking about the interface between art and engineering because I think it’s really important for how I exist in the realm of science in a lot of ways.”
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