Medical implants and biological models have three main characteristics: low volume, complex shape, and can be customized. These characteristics suit very well with Rapid Prototyping (RP) and Rapid Manufacturing (RM) processes. RP/RM processes are fabricated part layer- by-layer until complete shape finished from 3D model. Biocompatible materials, such as Titanium and Titanium alloy, Zirconium, Cobalt Chromium, PEEK, etc, are used for fabrication process. Reverse Engineering (RE) technology greatly affects RP/RM processes. RE is used to capture or scan image of the limb, cranium, tooth, and other biological objects. Three common methods to get the image are 3D laser scanning, Computer Tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Main RP/RM techniques used in Dentistry are Stereotype Lithography Apparatus (SLA), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and ink jet printing. This article reviews the changing scenario of technology in dentistry with special emphasis on Rapid Prototyping and its various applications in Dentistry.
In this work, the recent advances for rapid prototyping in the orthoprosthetic industry are presented. Specifically, the manufacturing process of orthoprosthetic aids are analysed, as thier use is widely extended in orthopedic surgery. These devices are devoted to either correct posture or movement (orthosis) or to substitute a body segment (prosthesis) while maintaining functionality. The manufacturing process is traditionally mainly hand-crafted: The subject’s morphology is taken by means of plaster molds, and the manufacture is performed individually, by adjusting the prototype over the subject. This industry has incorporated computer aided design (CAD), computed aided engineering (CAE) and computed aided manufacturing (CAM) tools; however, the true revolution is the result of the application of rapid prototyping technologies (RPT). Techniques such as fused deposition modelling (FDM), selective laser sintering (SLS), laminated object manufacturing (LOM), and 3D printing (3DP) are some examples of the available methodologies in the manufacturing industry that, step by step, are being included in the rehabilitation engineering market—an engineering field with growth and prospects in the coming years. In this work we analyse different methodologies for additive manufacturing along with the principal methods for collecting 3D body shapes and their application in the manufacturing of functional devices for rehabilitation purposes such as splints, ankle-foot orthoses, or arm prostheses.
Based on Vacuum Differential Pressure Casting (VDPC) precision forming technology and the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology, a rapid manufacturing method called Rapid Precision Casting (RPC) process from computer three-dimensional solid models to metallic parts was investigated. The experimental results showed that the main advantage of RPC was not only its ability to cast higher internal quality and more accurate complex thin-walled aluminum alloy parts, but also the greatly-reduced lead time cycle from Selective Laser Sintering(SLS) plastic prototyping to metallic parts. The key forming technology of RPC for complex thin-walled metallic parts has been developed for new casting production and Rapid Tooling (RT), and it is possible to rapidly manufacture high-quality and accurate metallic parts by means of RP in foundry industry.