Saturday, 11 February 2012

The first implantation of a jaw printed in 3D

A team of Dutch surgeons implanted a patient to an artificial jaw for the first time printed in 3D. The process would reduce hospitalization time and costs.

Four steps were needed to researchers at the University of Hasselt to design the model. After a scan of the jaw of the patient, a detailed model is realized on computer.
A laser head is then guided by the computer and will carve into a tank the form of metal powder in less than two hours. A torch is then used to tighten the jaw covered with a bio-ceramic alloy. Finally, it is present in this patient, in this case a woman of 83.

For scientists, the choice of 3D printing rather than simply casting was required. The principle makes it possible to achieve much higher accuracy. This produces a millimeter of jaw after 33 successive layers. The model obtained in a short time is truly tailored and thus allows for reduced hospitalization time and logically lower costs. The video below (no sound) shows how this
artificial jaw was designed.

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