3D Printing Precise Titanium Parts to Replace Bone for Reconstruction Surgery

Published by , August 1, 2017 10:32 am

(NextBigFuture) Dr. Lantieri does more than mend broken bones; he tries to help his patients look as close to normal as possible. In the past, he spent long hours in the operating room, opening hundreds upon hundreds of boxes of generic plates, casts and screws, searching for the best fit for patients. Now Dr. Lantieri heads into the OR, he has a customized repair kit tricked out with titanium plates that are exact replicas of the patient’s own bones and screws that have been hand-fitted to secure existing bones to the new replacement parts.
Materialise uses Concept Laser 3D-printing machines to “print” the new implants — first as a prototype that Lantieri can measure against a 3D model of the skull to ensure a perfect fit, and then as the final product. “In the past, I was just guessing,” Lantieri says. “We never had the correct shape. But using 3D-printed skulls — to have them in my own hands — to determine what are the difficulties, where are the impediments in advance, it makes a huge difference.”

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