The University of Iowa set out in search of a way to help surgeons, entrepreneurs, and students innovate for the future. To do so, they enhanced their maker space and education programs.
With the lack of in-person communication, the time to advance ideas lengthens. Outsourcing 3D printed parts took an average of two years, and was increasingly expensive.
Protostudios is a state-of-the-art rapid prototyping facility within the University’s Department of Innovation and Economic Development. It supports surgeons at University of Iowa Hospitals create medical models and tools that help them with the preparation needed for surgeries.
The University wanted a hands-on experience for students, so that they can apply the work to their future careers and be able to build a connection with other companies that use Protostudios.
Students now get a more practical and interactive experience working with a Stratasys J Series PolyJet printer. It gives them the knowledge they will need for whichever industry they pursue a career in, not just engineering. The facility also presents excellent networking opportunities with a variety of companies and entrepreneurs.
The University of Iowa and Protostudios invested in the Stratasys J Series PolyJet printer to give students and local companies the opportunity to use machines at a quicker pace. Surgeons at the University of Iowa hospitals were able to start making surgical tools and accurate anatomical models for pre-operative preparation. Charles Romans, Prototyping Director at University of Iowa, was excited, saying he “was able to print four different materials in one prototype model to simulate what [a surgeon] was trying to accomplish.”
The prototypes now have higher resolution and quality, taking weeks instead of years to create, attracting more clients. The University of Iowa has modernized their learning methods to spark student and professional interest in the capability of 3D printers and how it can be applicable to their current or future careers.
Meet Katie Elhardt
Meet our Marketing Assistant, Katie Elhardt. Katie is responsible for helping maintain the company website, social media, and events. Her favorite part about Purple is the innovative technology and the company culture.
Outside of work, Katie enjoys attending 80’s concerts, going to Disneyland, and taking long walks near the beach. If you haven’t had the chance to meet her yet, stop by our office or connect on LinkedIn!