Tag Archives: 123D Circuits

Lifelike 3D-printed hearts are helping train surgeons

Researchers at the Nottingham Trent University have successfully created a 3D-printed heart.


Led by Richard Arm, the team has used silicone gel to mimic the texture of a real heart and its inner workings. Unlike previous efforts to 3D print prosthetic organs, this project has developed one that is “as close as you can get” to the real organ.

CT scans of real hearts established the density of all the different parts of the organ and, using that data, the 3D printer produced for the heart. Prior to the scientists newfound solution, cardiothoracic surgery relied solely on basic plastic models, which unfortunately don’t provide a realistic learning experience. Now, these 3D-printed hearts will offer near exact replicas of those found within human body.

“Students would be able to make incisions to experience how it would feel and see what the inside of the heart looks like.” The study even looked at plans to pump artificial blood through the prosthetic organ to enhance the realism of a mock operation.


“This study shows how it’s possible to replicate the human heart, inside and out, and make it so realistic that it could literally be operated on by trainee surgeons,” Arm adds.

The university’s endeavor is the first step in establishing a near lifelike system for researchers and students to use to gain the most precise experience possible.

“This could be a real benefit to way in which we educate students, by providing them with more realistic experiences before they go into live theatre,” said Professor Michael Vloeberghs of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the Maker Movement has used Atmel powered 3D printers, such as MakerBot and RepRap, for some time now. However, 3D printing recently entered a new and exciting stage in the medical world —  ranging from “growing” cartilage to treat cancers, osteoarthritis and traumatic injuries to orthopedic implants for patients with fractured pelvises.

Atmel is ready to rock @ SXSW!

Atmel’s Tech on Tour trailer is on the road again and heading to Austin, Texas for SXSW. We’ll be at the Hyatt Regency Austin from March 7-9, 2014, so be sure to stop by during the show to see our latest demos.

We’ll be showcasing a wide variety of tech across a number of spaces, including touch, security, microcontrollers (MCUs), wireless, lighting and automotive.

More specifically, you can check out:

In addition, we’re proud to host a guest appearance by Autodesk, the very same folks behind the world famous Instructables and 123D Circuits.

With 123D Circuits, you can breadboard and simulate your AVR-powered Arduino-based circuits, while writing, compiling and running code right in your browser. When you’re done, you can have the circuit board professionally made and shipped right to your doorstep.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s tech on tour? You can check out our official ToT page here.

Arduino goes virtual with Autodesk

Autodesk and Circuits.io have launched a new tool that allows DIY Makers to more easily design and test projects powered by Atmel-based Arduino boards.

Aptly dubbed 123D Circuits, the utility boasts a virtual breadboard-based design which enables Makers to build and experiment with Arduino circuits just as they would in real life. Code can be edited in a browser, facilitating real-time and interactive simulation of the targeted circuit. Plus, Makers are now able to simultaneously work on the same (virtual) project with their friends, compiling and emulating  Arduino code inside a live, editable circuit.

Additional key features and capabilities include:

  • A powerful, yet easy-to-use component editor which makes it easy to add new components to the shared library.
  • Facilitates the creation of slick circuit boards with free text, b-splice silkscreen art and arbitrary board shapes.
  • Capable of embedding designs, including simulations, on a blog or in an Instructable.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the official Sandbox page here.