James Novak applies award-winning skills to 3D printing with purpose

James Novak applies award-winning skills to 3D printing with purpose

Biomedical designer and senior research fellow James Novak has recently taken out the top accolade at the International 3D Printing Industry Awards Trophy Design competition for 2021.

James joined the Herston Biofabrication Institute (HBI) in May 2021 and is now using his award-winning design skills as the senior research fellow for the CranioFacial program, which spans neurosurgery and maxillofacial surgery applications of 3D printing.

Admitting his surprise at taking out the top award, James said his design was 3D printed and then used as the trophy to award all the winners of the annual 3D Printing Industry Awards, with over 20 categories recognising the greatest achievements of the year.

James himself was awarded a 3D printer as his prize, a welcome addition to his household given his penchant for 3D printing almost anything he needs.

“In my spare time I’ve designed and printed fins for my surfboard, and at my last house I printed custom light fittings for every single light inside and outside – I also like to use my printers to fix little things up around the house, which can save a lot of money,” he said.

Now applying his expertise in a clinical setting, James is excited about working with clinicians and other researchers to create current and future medical devices which have a real impact on patients.

“HBI is a connection between the hospital and advanced research – as a designer I don’t have clinical expertise, but I love problem solving and can make almost anything clinicians need and overcome all the engineering, material, and technical challenges we encounter to turn their ideas into a reality,” he said.

“At the moment we’re working on 3D printed, hyper-realistic training models so junior doctors can practice surgery on lifelike copies before performing the activity on a patient.”

“Everything we make here has a purpose and everything is directly improving healthcare – it’s very rewarding.”