This paper aims to introduce selective vacuum manufacturing (SVM), a powder-based rapid prototyping (RP) technique, and the ongoing development to improve its capability to apply in temporary scaffold fabrication.
SVM employs a combination of sand casting and powder sintering process to construct a prototype layer by layer. A dense layer of support material is prepared and selectively removed to create a cavity where part material is filled and sintered to form a solid layer. In order for SVM to be considered for scaffold fabrication, besides preparing poly-lactic acid (PLA) for part material, support material preparation and process parameters identification have been studied. Redesigning of SVM machine to be more suitable for the real usage has also been presented.
Particle size of salt has been controlled, and its suitable composition with flour and water has been determined. Process parameters have been identified to scale down the size of scaffolds to meso-scale and to achieve mechanical requirement. Properties of fabricated scaffolds have been enhanced and can be used for soft tissue applications. A prototype of the medical SVM machine has been constructed and tested. An examination of scaffolds fabricated on this new machine also showed their qualification for soft tissue application.
Further study will be on conducting a direct cytotoxicity test to provide the evidence for tissue growth before the clinical usage, on continuing to scaling down the scaffold size, and on improving SVM to meet the requirement of hard tissue.
This simple, inexpensive RP technique demonstrates its viability for scaffold fabrication.
The authors would like to express sincere thanks to Professor Pitt Supaphol and Ms Siripa Thadavirul from the Petroleum and Petrochemical College, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand for their assistance and recommendations on cytotoxicity experiments, and to Dental Material Science Research Center, Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand for their assistance on the compression test.
Phattanaphibul, T., Koomsap, P., Idram, I. and Nachaisit, S. (2014), "Development of SVM rapid prototyping for scaffold fabrication", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 90-104. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-05-2012-0042Download as .RIS
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