Medical rapid prototyping technologies: state of the art and current limitations for application in oral and maxillofacial surgery
journal contributionposted on 08.04.2014 by John Winder, Richard Bibb
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Purpose We describe state of the art software and hardware requirements for the manufacture of high quality medical models manufactured using medical rapid prototyping. The source of the medical model artefacts and there physical appearance are illustrated along with remedies for their removal. Materials and Methods Medical models were built using predominantly stereolithography and fused deposition modelling at both institutions over a period of 6 years. A combined total of 350 models have been produced for a range of maxillofacial, neurosurgical and orthopaedic applications. Stereolithography, fused deposition modelling computerised numerical milling and other technologies are described. Results A range of unwanted artefacts that create distortions on medical models have been identified. These include, data import, CT gantry distortion, metal, motion, surface roughness due to support structure removal or surface modelling and image data thresholding. The source of the artefact has been related to the patient, imaging modality performance or the modelling technology. Discussion as to the significance of the artefacts on clinical use is provided. Conclusions It is recommended that models of human anatomy generated by medical rapid prototyping are subject to rigorous quality assurance at all stages of the manufacturing process. Clinicians should be aware of potential areas for inaccuracies within models and review the source images in cases where model integrity is in doubt.