3D printed prosthetic jaw!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-20/melbourne-man-receives-titanium-3d-printed-prosthetic-jaw/6536788

3D printed titanium prosthetic jaw joint bone

Titanium, 3D printed prosthetic jaw implanted in Melbourne man in Australian first surgery

Surgeons have successfully implanted a titanium 3D-printed prosthetic jaw in a Melbourne man in an Australian-first operation.

It is hoped the success of the locally designed and tested part will lead to high-tech export opportunities.

The patient, 32-year-old psychologist Richard Stratton, was missing part of his jawbone including the left condyle, the joint to the skull.

He believed part of his jaw never grew properly after he received a bad knock to the jaw during childhood.

In the past few years, he has suffered increasing pain while chewing or moving his jaw and he has not been able to fully open his mouth.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr George Dimitroulis designed a prototype prosthesis that was refined and tested by experts at Melbourne University’s mechanical engineering department.

Dr Dimitroulis said that while there had been a handful of 3D-printed jaw operations worldwide, he was not aware of any that incorporated a titanium part and a 3D-printed plastic jaw joint.

“In terms of joint replacement specifically, what we call the TMJ – the temporomandibular joint – we suspect that this may be the first 3D-printed jaw joint in the world,” he said.

It was designed to protect the skull from a rubbing metal joint which would wear and erode into the cranial cavity.

“The beauty of this particular joint itself is that it was designed in Australia and manufactured [by an Australian firm] … and not just manufactured in the common sense, but 3D printed,” he said.

“It really makes the fit truly patient-fitted, truly customised, as opposed to ‘we’re close enough’ and it’s something that I think will become the norm in the future as technology [becomes] cheaper.”

Dr Dimitroulis said it was a great example of “smart Australia” and 3D printing would lead to “revolutionary” changes in jaw prosthesis surgery.

Richard Stratton before and after surgery

Sunrise of a whole new industry

Before the operation, Mr Stratton said he was excited to be “patient X on the Australian joint” and joked that he had put in an order for a “Brad Pitt” jaw.

He hoped many more patients would benefit from having their replacement joints 3D printed and personalised to them.

“It sounds a bit [like] science fiction … I don’t really understand 3D printing that much but it’s exciting,” he said.

“They have a 3D model of my skull and the fact that they’ve made the joint to fit that perfectly, I feel a lot safer in knowing that it’s not just a factory made, off-the-shelf joint.

“Hopefully all the time they’ve spent on their computers and designing my new jaw, hopefully that will make the short-term recovery better for me and also the longer-term outcome is that it will last a lot longer and hopefully work a lot more efficiently.”

Port Melbourne firm 3D Medical used powdered titanium that was heated and fused one layer at a time to print the prosthesis.

Technicians also used CT scan images to print a 3D plastic model of Mr Stratton’s skull and then refined the titanium part to provide a perfect fit.

While this part was manufactured in New Zealand, future parts will be locally produced.

Company chairman Dr Nigel Finch said about 30 versions of the part had to be printed during the customisation process but he predicted that any future adaptation would take much less time.

“It really is the sunrise of a whole new industry,” he said.

“I think that greater support, better understanding by the regulators and better understanding by hospitals and the healthcare system, will see the adoption of 3D medical implants and other technologies starting to become mainstream.

“Most of the implants that patients receive now are generic sizing, and of course nobody really is small, medium or large.”

New 3D printed titanium jaw part for Richard Stratton attached to a 3D printed version of his skull.

On-demand printing the way of the future

Dr Finch said the cost of the technology had come down to a “truly competitive” price point compared with conventional manufacturing of parts.

The use of highly-automated machines also eliminated much of the labour cost that had traditionally made Australian manufacturing uncompetitive.

“One of the things that’s really personally exciting for me is this whole idea about bringing a manufacturing base back to Australia and focusing around the digital aspect of it,” Dr Finch said.

“We currently have a model where the hospitals are carrying inventory of generic implants, and this is very costly on the hospital’s balance sheets, very costly on the healthcare system and I can see a future where we’re manufacturing parts on an as-required basis so we’re printing on demand.”

Melbourne University biomedical engineer, Dr David Ackland, said it was “quite unusual and unexpected” to be approached by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with a design prototype as computer simulations had mostly been performed on knee, shoulder and hip joints in the past.

“It’s very very important before you put an implant into the human body that you know that it’s going to be able to withstand the normal forces, the internal forces in the human body,” he said.

“We performed computer simulations [on the jaw prosthesis] to determine the joint loading and the loading on the implant and the screws, which of course the prosthesis would be subject to during biting and chewing.

“So we’ve done quite a comprehensive set of musculoskeletal modelling studies … to make sure that it doesn’t fail.”

Dr Ackland said 3D printing technology was still in its infancy so there were not a lot of customised components being developed or placed inside the human body.

“It’s incredibly exciting and there’s enormous potential for use of 3D printing technology to develop customised, patient-specific joint replacements and prosthetic components for a range of patients with different musculoskeletal disorders,” he said.

‘The excitement was unbearable’

Just after completing the five-hour operation, Dr Dimitroulis said he was “very proud” that three years of hard work had paid off.

“The excitement was unbearable I think, just at the last minute we thought it just wasn’t going to fit in but it just slid in nicely,” he said.

Dr Dimitroulis said patients with severe osteoarthritis of the jaw would benefit from the new implant and two patients had already signed on to receive one.

Mr Stratton said he found the pain and swelling confronting in the first few days after surgery but one month later and he was already able to open his mouth wider than before the surgery.

“The physiotherapist is really impressed and she works with these joints every day, and she says the range of movement … is a lot more than other patients that she’s worked with,” he said.

As for the “Brad Pitt” look, Mr Stratton has been clearly amused by his new chiselled jawline.

“People have have been really politely saying that it’s a huge improvement,” he laughed.

“I didn’t notice that I didn’t have a chin before, but people are now saying, ‘Wow, you’ve got such a great chin!'”

X-ray front shot

abc.net.au

by Stephanie Ferrier | 22 Jun 2015, 4:45am

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Anything’s possible with 3D printing !

http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/smallbiz-tech/anythings-possible-with-3d-printing-20150422-1mr9w6

A 3D printed reef unit after eight months.

Anything’s possible with 3D printing

The rapid technological development of 3D imagery and 3D printing is so advanced that actors will only have to be filmed once before their image can be replicated for any facial expression; reefs can be transported and rebuilt around the world and soon you will be able to design and print your own surfboard at home.

And it is all happening right now.

Mark Ruff is an internationally acclaimed photographer who has received awards from around the globe. He has set up a company, 3D Body Scan, where 3D imaging is changing the future of motion pictures around the world.

“I didn’t invent the technology but I am certainly using it to my advantage,” Ruff says. “I use an 80 camera, 24 Mpx array, which instantaneously captures a body or face in what is called a near real-time system. Multiple cameras capture a decisive moment in time from many angles. When these frames are edited together, the moment appears frozen as we move it around.

“Time splice is able to provide all levels of production to provide a turnkey solution. This style of imagery resembles 3D modelling: a technique creating a model of a subject and manipulating it in 3D space. The big difference is that time splice captures the real world in 3D.”

Ruff says that in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where Brad Pitt is born old and dies young, the actor was shot at his own age in every sequence, but 3D modelling and Paul Ekman’s FACS (facial action coding system) allowed post-production to age him and make him look younger, as well as transporting his head onto other people’s bodies.

“The reality is that you only need to shoot actors once now and you can manipulate their image to anything you want for the future,” he says.

Ruff, who says he is the only person in Australia developing this type of technology, is working with Hollywood producers and Australian sports bodies on 3D imagery.

He says the possibilities are endless.

“With broadcast, you can create a ‘fly-through’ effect where a sports player, for example, could appear in your living room; you can create characters for games based on real people; and for the fashion industry, you will only need to photograph people once and you will be able to fit and design garments for them interactively.”

Ruff says once a 3D model is created, it can easily be turned into a figurine and printed in full colour up to 34 centimetre tall.

However, that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to 3D printing.

David Lennon and Alex Goad have co-founded the Reef Design Lab, which is dedicated to advancing the effectiveness of purpose-built reef units, as well as marine infrastructure such as jetties, rock walls, marinas and canal estates.

Lennon and Goad have designed the modular artificial reef structure (MARS) to recreate a highly conducive environment for sea life in areas in which natural habitats have been damaged or destroyed by pollution, climate change, destructive fishing practices and other human activities.

Locking together to form a lattice-like structure, each of the modules is rendered with various indentations, undulations and holes to mimic the calcified skeletons of dead coral.

“Another application is repairing reefs damaged by ship groundings,” Lennon says. “It would be possible to survey the damaged reef section, create 3D units on the computer, email them to the 3D sand printer, print the required reef units, ship them to site, deploy them and the reef scape would [be] . . . extremely natural and function very effectively for providing immediate refuge for fish and stable substrate for natural coral regrowth or planting of corals.”

Lennon has worked with James Gardiner, a Sydney-based architect who identified 3D printer manufacturer D-Shape in Italy as a potential manufacturer of constructed reef units.

“James and I created the first prototype design we built and deployed off Bahrain,” Lennon says. “My other company, Sustainable Ocean International, with Environment Arabia in Bahrain won a two-year contract to design and build 10 reefs for Bahrain to help increase fish stocks. We saw the need for a Bahrain-based company that could manufacture artificial reef units to supply the Arabian Gulf market and, hence, Reef Arabia was born and founded in 2012.”

The one issue Lennon faces is cost. The reality is that 3D imagery is expensive and like any new technology, it gets cheaper as more and more people use it and more companies start manufacturing machines.

“The current printer we use would cost around $1 million to buy and set up in Bahrain, so it’s not a simple investment, but anecdotal evidence suggests that this specific unit deployed off Bahrain is performing as well as a comparable-sized concrete unit.”

While 3D printing artificial reefs is a big job, something of a smaller scale is a lot easier and cheaper, such as surfboards.

Gary Elphick started Disrupt Surfing just over a year ago because of his frustration with surfboards being mass produced.

Elphick, who ran a surfing accessory business, thought the individuality of surfboards was getting lost.

“I really believed that there was a better way to design surfboards,” Elphick says. “We originally started looking at the technology and realised that through 3D, we could design and print a surfboard.”

Disrupt Surfing uses 3D printing design technology to make a digital set-up of the surfboard and then the customer can direct the art, finish and design.

“We make a digital file from the customer’s request; we then create a 3D render before we 3D print the design using a new heat-sensitive moulded plastic,” Elphick says. “Next, we refine the design until the customer is happy and then we start shaping before uploading the 3D digital file to the shaping machine before being glassed and sprayed. The board is then ready for surfing.

“At the moment, the process takes four weeks, but the aim is to get it down to four hours.”

Elphick initially started working from home before renting premises on Bondi Beach. However, he only takes online orders.

“We had queues outside our building and it was annoying the landlord and other tenants, so we decided to move to our own premises,” he says.

“At the moment, the business is growing 20 per cent per month and we are intending to expand into Europe in June. We have already formed partnerships with companies in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.”

smh.com.au

by Louis White | May 10, 2015