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Collaborative Repository for 3D Printable Designs - The Open Heart Project

Miss Amanda Miotto
1,2, Dr Jo Pauls3,4

1Griffith University, 2QCIF, 3University of Queensland, 4Prince Charles Hospital

A medical engineer presented us with a unique challenge. His team wanted to collaborate worldwide on designing 3D printable heart pumps - while keeping the designs open source and affordable for third world countries.

Background: Currently research is o en undertaken in isolation within each laboratory, limiting collaboration and thus the full potential of the Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) eld. There was a clear need and untapped potential for improved collaborative efforts, improved education and standardisation and subsequent improvement of research quality and outcomes within the field.

The repository needed to be easy to use and learn, adaptable for different technologies, low-cost and sustainable long term. The system needed to include not just the files for the 3D printers, but testing data, testing code and human-readable information about the mechanics.

Method: Combining a work ow of technologies with sustainable solutions, we were able to provide engineers with a way to share their work with a low barrier to entry. This platform was named OpenHeart. The platform incorporates web-based version control and documentation mechanisms, with attached collaborative tools providing networking opportunities, discussion space and educational material for upskilling.  Coupled with this was the dual copyright licence, protecting both their programmatic code, their intellectual designs and testing data using both a

Creative Commons (CC-BY 4.0) and Open Source licence (BSD-3-Clause). This protects not just the designs of the heart pumps themselves but the code that resides in the 3D printable le. Paired with the licence is unique URLs and DOI minting for publication purposes, encouraging reuse and transparency.

This system offers access to the current developments in the MSC eld for researchers in developing countries with a low barrier of entry. By sharing existing solutions (e.g. experimental set-up, data analysis strategy) it will be possible to save research time and money while giving emerging researchers a head start.

Discussion: This presentation will discuss how we leveraged traditional version control systems to provide a novel approach for researchers with in-built reproducibility and collaboration mechanisms. We will also discuss how this approach can be adapted for other situations.