The University of Pécs (PTE) is the oldest university in Hungary founded in 1367. Its 3D Printing and Visualization Center (PTE 3D Center) is an institution of interdisciplinary research, education and development using 3D printing and visualization technologies.
The establishment of the PTE 3D center started from an ambitious program — the PTE 3D Project, initiated by Dr. József Bódis, the Rector of the University. The University aims to revolutionize the development of the region through its 3D project in various fields. Currently, they primarily focus on medical technology development.
Since the launch of the Project, there have been several exciting initiatives, such as designing personalized prosthetics and using VR technology in diagnostics.
Figure 1. Robotic prosthetic hand model
ZWSOFT Donates ZW3D to PTE 3D Center for Academic Research
János Mendler is the development engineer at PTE 3D center. He is mainly responsible for developing training simulators for students at the medical school of the university.
János introduced their daily workflow. “After importing the source file, we design the needed 3D CAD model and then print a 3D solid shape as the main part. Using the main part we can make a silicone mold, and then we can use the mold for product casting with materials like polyurethane or acrylic.”
“We use 3D CAD software to do the part design and product assembly and then export files for 3D printing,” said János. “We are looking for a cost-effective yet useful CAD solution. We tried ZW3D and found it the best choice on the market.”
After knowing their demand for 3D CAD software, and their ambition of advancing medical technology using 3D printing and visualization technologies, UP Engineering, ZWSOFT’s local reseller in Hungary, decided to donate ZW3D to the PTE 3D Center on behalf of ZWSOFT in 2021. In this donation, UP Engineering has provided them with a dozen of ZW3D education licenses for academic research.
ZW3D Helps PTE 3D Center Complete Projects Smoothly
The 3D center has completed several projects using ZW3D in different fields, such as dentistry, surgery, and prosthetics. János said, “For dental work, we made dummy teeth, gums, and jaw bone simulators by processing imported CAD or scanned models in ZW3D, and this is similar to how we produced elbow, throat, and special bone simulators. For prosthetics, we made sample robotic prosthetic hands using parametric configurations for fingers in ZW3D.”
Figure 2. Dental mold
János Mendler was pleased with the overall performance of ZW3D. He said, “Hybrid modeling, reverse engineering, and advanced surface modeling are very useful and effective. Since the imported files are mainly from 3D scanning machines, the surface reparation function is necessary for us. In ZW3D, the reparation for organic models is done at a high level.”
Apart from its robust modeling capabilities, ZW3D has seamless compatibility with mainstream file formats such as STP, STL and DWG, allowing for risk-free data exchange. János said, “We mainly export files as STP or STL depending on the 3D printing tasks and there is no problem with it.”
Functionality is a key criterion in choosing software for an institution, but technical support and financial factor should not be ignored too. János said, “Training videos and tutorials helped a lot at the beginning. Some specific questions were answered clearly by the regional distributor.” He also added, “Compared with other 3D CAD programs available on the market, ZW3D’s price is fair and reasonable.”
Figure 3. A designer worked on the model of a robotic prosthetic hand
Advancing Medical Technology Development Using ZW3D in the Future
Dr. Péter Maróti, Head of the PTE 3D center, forecasted, “Today, there are several world-class success stories regarding several topics, such as the use of new medical simulation techniques or the manufacturing of prostheses, which can bring Hungary to the forefront of 3D printing,”
In the future, ZWSOFT will continue to play an important part in helping the University lead in medical technology development using 3D printing and visualization technologies.