This paper aims to propose a functional methodology to produce cranial prostheses in polymeric sheet. Within the scope of rapid prototyping technologies, the single-point incremental forming (SPIF) process is used to demonstrate its capabilities to perform customized medical parts.
The methodology starts processing a patient’s computerized axial tomography (CAT) and follows with a computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) procedure, which finally permits the successful manufacturing of a customized prosthesis for a specific cranial area.
The formability of a series of polymeric sheets is determined and the most restrictive material among them is selected for the fabrication of a specific partial cranial prosthesis following the required geometry. The final strain state at the outer surface of the prosthesis is analysed, showing the high potential of SPIF in manufacturing individualized cranial prostheses from polymeric sheet.
This paper proposes a complete methodology to design and manufacture polymer customized cranial prostheses from patients’ CATs using the novel SPIF technology. This is an application of a new class of materials to the manufacturing of medical prostheses by SPIF, which to this purpose has been mainly making use of metallic materials so far. Despite the use of polymers to this application is still to be validated from a medical point of view, transparent prostheses can already be of great interest in medical or engineering schools for teaching and research purposes.
The authors wish to thank the Spanish Government for its financial support through the research projects DPI2015-64047-R and DPI2016-77156-R and the University of Girona (Spain) for the support provided by MPCUdG2016/036. The fourth author would also like to thank the Spanish Ministry of Education (grant FPU12/05402).
Centeno, G., Morales-Palma, D., Gonzalez-Perez-Somarriba, B., Bagudanch, I., Egea-Guerrero, J.J., Gonzalez-Perez, L.M., García-Romeu, M.L. and Vallellano, C. (2017), "A functional methodology on the manufacturing of customized polymeric cranial prostheses from CAT using SPIF", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 771-780. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-02-2016-0031
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