Due to the fact that some 3D-printed bones are used for implantology courses and must meet certain display criteria to be effective during the lessons, we are going to see if the 3D SLS printer fits perfectly for this position. Therefore, the SLS technology must comply with the following parameters:
It must accurately copy anatomical structure
This aspect depends greatly on the right conversion of DICOM files to STL files, as well as high printing resolution and the single sintering of the material’s layer. Without them, the models would not have a smooth surface as required. However, with the SLS 3D Printer, the material’s thin layer is sintered by the laser beam in order to show even the smallest anatomical structure details on the finished model.
It must be solid inside
It is really important that any printed bone models are completely and properly filled inside, as the implantology courses also require students to perform cutting and drilling practices. In comparison to regular printers that use thermoplastic materials (which sometimes don’t mimic properly the model), the SLS technology can manage to do that and even better, thanks to its selective laser sintering technology use that mimics them precisely and its very low material consumption.
It must give the possibility to control depth and direction of implant bed preparation.
In this point, the model’s material has to be strong and hard enough to safely shape the implant bed preparation, since the control capability while using clinical drill bits is one of the most crucial things that students must have in mind during the implantology course. Given the fact that the threading can be easily destroyed during drilling if the material is too brittle, the use of Polyamide is usually recommended due to its hardness and abilities to keep the implant bed preparation in perfect condition.
Thankfully, SLD 3D printing not only makes bone models that are ideal for this type of application, but also guarantees the highest accuracy and surface smoothness levels possible (especially when it comes to Polyamide-based models). We expect that this type of technology will be widely used for educational application purposes in years to come and if you have any questions regarding it, you can read about our support campaign for the Medical University of Warsaw’s student scientific group.