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Cullen College's ECE Department Obtains Two 3-D Printers

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Melanie Ziems
Example of a 3-D printer
Example of a 3-D printer

The electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering recently acquired two new 3-D printers, continuing the trend of being on the cutting edge of global technology.

The printers, which are housed in Ji Chen's and Jose Luis "Pepe" Contreras-Vidal's laboratories, are able to construct three-dimensional solid objects using digital models. Contreras-Vidal's research team is using the printer to create prosthetic components for their wearable neuroprosthetics research in-house.

"We will be using it to create a pediatric robotic exoskeleton to assist young children with cerebral palsy or other neurological conditions affecting gait," Contreras-Vidal said. "Currently there are no such devices and thus there is a [great] need for developing this technology." He said that because the 3-D printer makes models more economical, it thus makes them more accessible to patients.

Three-dimensional printing technology was initially created in the 1980's but has not been readily available until about 2010.

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