In medical surgery, a customized implant is often required to meet surgical requirements, especially in cases with complicated or traumatic deformities. The emerging techniques of additive manufacturing, e.g., 3D printing, may help provide a quick response to such needs, provided that a valid approach capturing required implant shape data is generated and processed to better suit 3D printing. Different materials, including biocompatible polymer and metal, may suit medical-surgical applications. In this paper, an investigation is conducted to assess 3D printing technology use as part of a full system, from capturing implant shape data to producing the customized implant. The investigation is supported by experimental studies of medical cases. The first case aimed to produce shatter-related finger distal phalanx implants, whereas the second aimed to design and reconstruct a suitable cranial implant for a patient with a left frontoparietal skull lesion. For these cases, the study has adopted a scenario based on CT scans to generate the required implant shape data; hence using DICOM format. The captured data from the two cases are processed using a developed systematic processing approach to generate the final design of the required customized implants. The designs are then converted into suitable manufacturing codes for 3D printed plastic and metal prototypes enabling the assessment of the technique utilizing the facilities of UrukTech Company in Baghdad, Iraq, and Sohar University in Oman. Results show that the developed approach, from data capture to 3D printed implants, has succeeded in addressing the need for customized implants. For instance, the accuracy of the cranial implant was confirmed dimensionally, aiding in restoring structures, appearance, and psychological stability. The design and manufacturing of custom 3D-printed bone implants represent a significant advancement in medical technology and orthopedics, provided that biocompatible materials are used. Therefore, the technique may be adopted in the near future to serve the medical surgery field. The developed approach in this study encompasses several key ideas, contributions, and significant results, including creating patient-specific bone implants by utilizing medical imaging and 3D printing. Hence, the developed approach enables the creation of complex implant geometries that otherwise would be challenging to manufacture.
- Bone implants were designed, reconstructed, and manufactured from patient medical imaging data.
- Three models were manufactured at UrukTech in Baghdad and Sohar University in Oman.
- The 3D-printed final models had a perfect fit.