Medical 3D Prints

Perform a pre surgical operation

and get 100% ready

As part of a growing trend in the medical industry of patient specific solutions, a need arises for means and methods that could grant surgeons the ability to improve their pre-operative planning, and help streamline their intra-operative proceedings relative to each individual patient......

As part of a growing trend in the medical industry of patient specific solutions, a need arises for means and methods that could grant surgeons the ability to improve their pre-operative planning, and help streamline their intra-operative proceedings relative to each individual patient.

A suitable solution has emerged in the form of Additive Fabrication. Most of the traditional layer manufacturing technologies have been considered to be too expensive for medical application, and could not always be justified. However, more cost effective technologies, such as 3D Printing, have recently come to the scene and definitely require a fresh re-consideration for medical applications and the various fields of reconstructive surgery.

Anatomical models are physical replicas of patient`s internal or external hard or soft-tissue structures. They help surgeons to improve their planning of complex surgical procedures, which results in a reduction of surgical time and more predictable surgical outcomes.

These models are produced using CT, CBCT, or MRI. The most common applications for these models include bending metallic reconstruction plates, creating patient specific facial implants, and measuring and fitting of complex devices meant to lengthen shortened bone such as the leg or jawbones.

The Projet 660 pro 3D Printer enables surgeons to rapidly produce inexpensive 3D models to obtain better case information to better understand pathologies, reduce operating time, enhance patient and physician communication and improve patient outcomes. The entire process from scanning to the final printing is illustrated below.

The CT or MRI scanner

Medical proffesionals with Computerised Tomography (CT)
or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner
generate scan data by scanning patients.

The Scan Data

The data acquisition process usually generates scan data in the Digital Imaging and
Communications in Medicine (DICOM) electronic file format. Technically, DICOM
doesn`t contain three dimensional geometry in the traditional sense (solid object or
surfaces), DICOM does, however, support a "multi-frame" format that may encapsulate
several images that are somehow related to each other.

Digital 3D Model

Due to the multi-frame nature of the DICOM file format that encapsulates several images that are inter related to
each other, a 3 dimensional reconstruction of the medical scan data is possible through medical
image processing software algorithms. Through this process the complex 2D images contained in
the scan data (DICOM file) can be converted into easy to understand 3D models that can be held and easily
manipulated for a more complete understanding of the anatomy. The 3D models are usually electronic stl files
(or other similar CAD file format), that contain three dimensional solid or surface geometry (traditionally used
with CAD software) that apart from faster and more comprehensive three dimensional visualisation of the scan data,
can also be used for 3D printing.

3D Printing

The reconstructed 3D model (CAD file) can then be sent to a 3D printer. The 3D printer uses a technique
called additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) which is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object
of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process,
where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. 3D printing is considered distinct
from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods
such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).

Physical 3D Model

The 3D printed model normally goes through a post processing procedure and then it is
ready to be used.The 3D printed model is traditionally used by medical professionals for
pre-surgical planning, communication with patient, implant pre-contouring, physician to
physician communication, medical student/resident education and other applications.
Medical & Dental Applications
  1. Pre-surgical planning: The ability to use models for pre-surgical planning reduces operating room time, lowers cost, and enhances patient outcomes by minimizing incision sizes, reducing recovery time and allowing for procedure rehearsals.
  2. Implant pre-contouring (screw trajectory, screw selection/location, instrument selection, technique rehearsal).
  3. Physician to physician communication: 3D printed models permit excellent communication between physicians and surgical teams; particularly useful in multi-disciplinary cases.
  4. Powerful patient presentation tool: 3D printed models enhance the physician`s ability to communicate with patients; raising confidence in the surgeon and the likelihood of a successful outcome.
  5. Medical student/resident education: 3D printed models prove very useful in communicating with students and residents. Complex 2D images can be converted into easy to understand 3D models that can be held and easily manipulated for a more complete understanding of the anatomy.