The Principle and Process of Digital Fabrication of Biomedical Objects

The Principle and Process of Digital Fabrication of Biomedical Objects

S. H. Choi (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong), H. H. Cheung (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) and W. K. Zhu (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch044

Abstract

Biomedical objects are used as prostheses to repair damaged bone structures and missing body parts, as well as to study complex human organs and plan surgical procedures. They are, however, not economical to make by traditional manufacturing processes. Researchers have therefore explored the multi-material layered manufacturing (MMLM) technology to fabricate biomedical objects from CAD models. Yet, current MMLM systems remain experimental with limited practicality; they are slow, expensive, and can only handle small, simple objects. To address these limitations, this chapter presents the multi-material virtual prototyping (MMVP) technology for digital fabrication of complex biomedical objects cost-effectively. MMVP integrates MMLM with virtual reality to fabricate biomedical objects for stereoscopic visualisation and analyses to serve biomedical engineering purposes. This chapter describes the principle of MMVP and the processes of digital fabrication of biomedical objects. Case studies are presented to demonstrate these processes and their applications in biomedical engineering.
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Background

There has been a huge surge in demand for biomedical objects in recent years for various medical and dental purposes (Khan & Dickens, 2014; Lee et al., 2001; Maji et al., 2014; Pinnock et al., 2016; Ripley et al., 2016; Sanghera et al., 2001; Winder et al., 1999).

Biomedical objects have been traditionally used as prostheses to repair damaged bone structures or to replace missing body parts (D’Urso et al., 2000; Eufinger et al., 1995; Sannomiya et al., 2008). They are now commonly used by medical students, surgeons, and dentists to help study the intricate anatomical details of human organs and bone structures, as well as to facilitate planning of implantations and surgical procedures (Singare et al., 2009). For example, artificial hip joints, and bone and jaw structures are often used in hospitals to assist complex medical operations. In addition, they are used as specimens for experiments in pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Fabrication: Graphical simulation of a fabrication process to make an object in digital form.

Multi-Material Virtual Prototyping and Virtual Manufacturing: Graphical simulation of a multi-material layered manufacturing process to make a multi-material object in digital form.

Multi-Material Object: An object made of a number of heterogeneous (discrete) materials or functionally graded materials.

Multi-Material Layered Manufacturing: An additive manufacturing process for fabrication of a multi-material object layer by layer.

Biomedical Object: An object made of bio-compatible materials for prosthetic or bioengineering applications.

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