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3DCeram 3D Prints Custom-Designed, Biocompatible Cranial Prostheses

by • August 15, 2016 • No Comments

homeCeramics are a particularly informative material in 3D printing, I ponder. When one ponders of ceramics, one typically ponders of china, pottery, coffee mugs, etc. The material is utilized in a much wider range of applications than many folks realize, yet, and the Ceramaker 3D printing device has been demonstrating the versatility of ceramics while satisfying customers across multiple industries.

Developed by French company 3DCeram, the Ceramaker initially caught our attention when it was displayed at Euromold last year. The printing device utilizes pastes made of photopolymers combined with alumina, zirconia or hydroxypatite (HA), and 3DCeram is consistently working on developing new materials – they in addition contribute custom formulations tailored to the needs of customers. Even without extra customization, yet, the Ceramaker’s materials almany tailor themselves to a variety of applications in a number of industries.

For example, a ceramic paste made with alumina, aka aluminum oxide, is ideal for electronics thanks to its electrically insulating and conductive properties. It is in addition complex and tough, manufacturing it a great abrasive or cutting tool. Zirconia, or zirconium dioxide, is a favourite of jewelers thanks to its high thermal stability and resistance to wear and chemicals, while hydroxypatite is much like to the substance of human bone, manufacturing it ideal for biocompatible implants.

logoOfficiel3DceramHD-e14520670925283DCeram, in fact, has been working with 3D printed ceramics in the medical field for the last decade, since well preceding 3D printed implants at any time crossed the mind of many folks. The company has been working closely with Dr. Joël Brie and the maxillofacial surgery department at Limoges University Hospital on the development of cranial prostheses, and their hydroxypatite material has shown itself to be well-suited to the job, thanks to its osteoconductive and biocompatible properties that spur bone growth and allow the implants to integrate extra
easily and rapidly into the body.

, an HA implant 3D printed with the Ceramaker has higher compressive mechanical durablity than general HA utilized in synthetic bone graft,” said Key Liu, who manages high end and regulatory affairs at Taiwanese 3D printing service provider and reseller DETEKT. “These implants are an alternative to the osseous grafts that really frequently come of the patient, and thus HA implants can prevent them of experiencing extra
pain. Ceramic implants are in addition well suited for reconstruction of bone defects, and the cosmetic outcome for the patient can be really satisfactory.”

system2The Ceramaker operates with SLA innovation, albeit with a few variations and extra
steps. A thin layer of ceramic paste is laid down, and a laser complexens the photopolymers inside the material. The print bed is lowered, and the system repeats until the print is finished, at that point the uncured paste is scraped away and reutilized. (That’s another really great thing of the Ceramaker; it’s somewhat much zero waste since all of its materials can be reutilized and recycled.) So the material is fired, debinding the polymers and sintering the ceramics.

Cranial prostheses are printed of 48 hours preceding firing, and thanks to the printing device’s high resolution, the patient fit is only of ideal. That’s a bit extra
of a challenge than printing implants in other materials, for the reason there’s shrinkage to deal with. The firing system outcomes in of 20% material shrinkage, that means that magnificent CAD skills are needed to compensate and ensure the create of a ideally-fitting prosthesis. When the create is done right, howat any time, the Ceramaker can create patient-specific implants with an accuracy of up to a tenth of a millimeter, according to Liu.


The material’s porosity additional encourages swift bone growth; implants made with hydroxypatite are just about 60% porous, and after six months, patients have shown bone regrowth over 25% of the porous areas. That’s astonishing. According to Dr. Brie, 17 patients have got 3D printed ceramic implants since 2005, when the hospital started via the innovation, and none of them have shown any signs of infection. The implants are expensive, ranging of €10,000 (around $11,275) to €18,000 ($20,300), while the Ceramaker itself costs an astounding €290,000 ($327,000). For Dr. Brie and his patients, howat any time, the cost is almany pretty worth it.

If you’d like to learn extra
of the hospital’s clinical trials of the 3D printed implants in 2013, you can check out the full study here. Discuss additional in the 3D Printed Cranial Implants forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Engineering.com / Images: 3DCeram]