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22 March 2016 : Laboratory Research  

Experimental Validation of Plastic Mandible Models Produced by a “Low-Cost” 3-Dimensional Fused Deposition Modeling Printer

Federico MaschioABCDEF, Mirali PandyaBCDE, Raphael OlszewskiABCDEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.895656

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:943-957

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to investigate the accuracy of 3-dimensional (3D) plastic (ABS) models generated using a low-cost 3D fused deposition modelling printer.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Two human dry mandibles were scanned with a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) Accuitomo device. Preprocessing consisted of 3D reconstruction with Maxilim software and STL file repair with Netfabb software. Then, the data were used to print 2 plastic replicas with a low-cost 3D fused deposition modeling printer (Up plus 2®). Two independent observers performed the identification of 26 anatomic landmarks on the 4 mandibles (2 dry and 2 replicas) with a 3D measuring arm. Each observer repeated the identifications 20 times. The comparison between the dry and plastic mandibles was based on 13 distances: 8 distances less than 12 mm and 5 distances greater than 12 mm.

RESULTS: The mean absolute difference (MAD) was 0.37 mm, and the mean dimensional error (MDE) was 3.76%. The MDE decreased to 0.93% for distances greater than 12 mm

CONCLUSIONS: Plastic models generated using the low-cost 3D printer UPplus2® provide dimensional accuracies comparable to other well-established rapid prototyping technologies. Validated low-cost 3D printers could represent a step toward the better accessibility of rapid prototyping technologies in the medical field.

Keywords: Mandible - anatomy & histology, Costs and Cost Analysis, Models, Anatomic, Observer Variation, Plastics - chemistry, Printing, Three-Dimensional - economics, Reproducibility of Results

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750