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C-Section Manikin

MedSim | Projects

  • Medical simulations are important tools that allow students to practice surgeries. However, they are incredibly expensive, making it difficult for many students to gain the firsthand knowledge of surgery in school. Our discount dummy is designed to be a cheaper model of a cesarean section simulation. In many parts of the world, c-sections aren't used frequently due to a lack of knowledge and supplies, resulting in problems during pregnancy or even death. Our simulation educates students on various problems with pregnancy that result in a c-section procedure. By making our simulation cheaper, we hope to expand the number of people who can be educated on the importance of c-sections by making surgical simulations a more accessible teaching tool. 

    Our discount dummy currently has four main parts: the abdomen, uterus, placenta, and baby. The abdomen and uterus were modeled in Rhino and then milled on NuVu's CNC machine. Afterward, we vacuum formed both the uterus and placenta to make hollow pieces that stayed in the shape we were looking for. This method of creating the uterus and abdomen allowed us to achieve the exact shape we were looking for while only using a few pieces of plastic in the actual product. The placenta is made of fabric, stuffing, and velcro, allowing it to un-attach from the abdomen and lose pieces during the surgery process, a common problem in c-section procedures. The baby is made of laser cut wood and covered in fabric and stuffing. 

  • Many births require c-sections. However, the procedures are unavailable in many parts of the world due to a lack of education and infrastructure, causing many birthing problems and in some cases death. Educating surgeons is difficult because the simulation dummies on the market sell for around $100,000 and are therefore not viable tools for many schools to use.

    Our solution to this issue is to create an affordable simulation designed to teach students how to deal with problems during a c-section surgery. Our simulation is made of cheap materials: plastic, fabric, velcro, and just two replaceable sections for the incisions.

    Inspired by already existing c-section simulations and molds for organs, we designed an abdomen piece that has one cutable section where the surgeon can make an incision in the skin. We then designed the uterus, baby, and placenta to fit inside the abdomen.

    After thinking about all these parts, we came to the conclusion that the easiest way to fabricate them would be with the CNC machine and vacuum former. Because both the abdomen and uterus have to be hollow for other parts to fit inside of them, creating a CNC mold of the exact shape we were looking for made the most sense.

    We then modeled our uterus and abdomen in Rhino and milled them on the CNC machine. Since we had to use thin foam for our molds, we ended up slicing both the molds into multiple pieces for the machine. Afterward, we brought the models to Beaver to use the school’s vacuum former. While all of this was happening, we also created our placenta, baby, and cutable skin and uterus pieces from cheap materials to prepare for the final assembly.

    With the parts put together, students can practice a lifelike the c-section surgery by cutting through the silicone pieces of the skin and uterus and then pulling the baby and placenta through.