Scott Drapeau
Scott is a designer in the Makers Lab. Contact Scott with questions about the Makers Lab, 3D printing technologies, and design project assistance.

Meet the Maker – Beverly Shoemaker

This week’s maker is Beverly Shoemaker, RN, MSN, NNP at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Let’s take a look at her project.

Q: What did you make?

We needed a neonatal chest model for chest tube skills practice. So Scott developed a model with a neonatal sized ribcage, baby lungs and fake skin to cover everything.

Q: Why did you want to make it?

There are many adult models for skills practice but not many good neonatal sized models. The need for smaller models is necessary for more realistic skills practice.

Q: What was your process? 

I contacted the Makers Lab and set up a consultation with Scott to discuss the project. I shared my idea and Scott gave me some homework to find a model of a baby rib cage that he could use as the core of the model. I searched the internet for models, but luckily the Makers Lab already had a model of neonatal rib cage designed by another Makers Lab patron, Jacklin Tong, NNP at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Scott edited the model to remove a couple of lower ribs so that he could print the ribs in two parts without supports. The first print was done in PLA as a test and then glued together. 

3d printed halves of a ribcage on a desktop.
Halved PLA rib cage printed with no supports
3D printed ribcage halves glued together.
Halves put together

The ribs were then printed in resin, which is a much more durable material so we could proceed to the next step.

Two halves of a ribcage model 3d printed using resin.
Halved resin (SLA) printed ribs bonded together with UV resin

Scott developed a mold using the rib cage model that could be filled with silicone and then torn apart to reveal a one-piece skin cast. This sacrificial mold was printed in PLA and then taken apart with a soldering iron. 

Collection of 3D printed sacrificial molds for the silicone skin cast.
Sacrificial mold for skin cast

Lastly Scott created another sacrificial PLA mold to create the lungs that would suspend from the rib cage. The silicone he used was much harder than the skin so that the lung would retain shape when we inserted chest tubes.

3D model of lungs created in Blender software.
Lungs created in Blender, a 3D Creation software
Animated GIF of the lung mold model in Cura slicing software's layer view.
Lung mold layer view

Lung model extracted from the 3d printed mold.
Cleaned side of lungs

Once cured the lungs popped into the ribs and the skin cast could be placed over.

Underside view of baby lung model and the skin cast.
Underside view of lungs and skin cast

Q: What was the hardest part of the process?

Scott said that modeling and casting precise skin thickness and maintaining an average distance of 2mm from the inside of the rib cage to lungs were the most challenging processes, but he figured it out.

Animated GIF showing 2mm spacing between the resin ribs and the lung model.
2mm spacing between ribs and lungs

Q: What was your favorite part of the process?

Scott said that he liked how the ribs felt as he seated them into the grooves of the skin cast.

3D printed ribs being fitted into silicone skin cast.
Test fit of half ribs inside skin cast

Q: How did this help make you a better faculty/staff member?

This will help me to make better scenarios for skills practice.

Q: What do you want to make next?

I’m looking forward to working with Scott again. Maybe a baby arm with arteries for arterial skills practice.