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Laboratory Uses Innovative 3D-Printing Method to Aid in Health

Mahesh Tonde, project analyst presents the advanced 3-D printing technology that is located at the engineering building.
3D Printing machine
3D Printing machine

Advances in 3D-printing technology at UTEP have led to innovations in health, according to university specialists.

Mahesh Tonde, project analyst for the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation, said printing technology helps with organ implants that can now be made to fit the patient instead of the patient receiving a standard size.

“It’s really fast, it’s convenient and it is a game-changing technology that has come out,” Tonde said.

In 2001, Ryan Wicker, director of the Keck Center, wrote a proposal and received a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation. This led to UTEP receiving a $1 million grant to start up the laboratory.

Rodrigo Enriquez, senior mechanical engineering major, works at the center and is excited to work on the research.

“On my first day of orientation, I saw the lab and I said ‘one day I’m going to work there,’ and three years later I’m working here,” Enriquez said.

The center has worked on various projects and has sent some parts made at the university to space.

Tonde said 3D printing involves building prototypes from raw materials and laying them down layer by layer on a platform.

The lab also conducts surveys and builds prototypes for companies.

“This lab is big and we have more projects,” Tonde said. “We don’t only do research… there are two sides, we are a business and a lab.”

Enriquez said students can visit the lab to have a prototype built for their classes.

Tonde encourages students and community members to be informed about the center, adding they should stop by and take a tour.

“I am fascinated by it, so I think they will be also. It is a great technology, it is the future,” Tonde said.

The W.M Keck Center for Innovation is located in room 108 in the Engineering Building. Students can also visit for more information.

Amanda Guillen can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Amanda Guillen
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
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Laboratory Uses Innovative 3D-Printing Method to Aid in Health