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3D printed bio-models for medical applications

Yee Ling Yap (Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Yong Sheng Edgar Tan (Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Heang Kuan Joel Tan (Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Zhen Kai Peh (Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Xue Yi Low (Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Wai Yee Yeong (Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Colin Siang Hui Tan (National Healthcare Group Eye Institute, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore)
Augustinus Laude (National Healthcare Group Eye Institute, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore and School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 20 March 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The design process of a bio-model involves multiple factors including data acquisition technique, material requirement, resolution of the printing technique, cost-effectiveness of the printing process and end-use requirements. This paper aims to compare and highlight the effects of these design factors on the printing outcome of bio-models.

Design/methodology/approach

Different data sources including engineering drawing, computed tomography (CT), and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were converted to a printable data format. Three different bio-models, namely, an ophthalmic model, a retina model and a distal tibia model, were printed using two different techniques, namely, PolyJet and fused deposition modelling. The process flow and 3D printed models were analysed.

Findings

The data acquisition and 3D printing process affect the overall printing resolution. The design process flows using different data sources were established and the bio-models were printed successfully.

Research limitations/implications

Data acquisition techniques contained inherent noise data and resulted in inaccuracies during data conversion.

Originality/value

This work showed that the data acquisition and conversion technique had a significant effect on the quality of the bio-model blueprint and subsequently the printing outcome. In addition, important design factors of bio-models were highlighted such as material requirement and the cost-effectiveness of the printing technique. This paper provides a systematic discussion for future development of an engineering design process in three-dimensional (3D) printed bio-models.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported under NHG ARG grant 14009 and NTU start-up grant.

Citation

Yap, Y.L., Tan, Y.S.E., Tan, H.K.J., Peh, Z.K., Low, X.Y., Yeong, W.Y., Tan, C.S.H. and Laude, A. (2017), "3D printed bio-models for medical applications", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 227-235. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-08-2015-0102

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited