We would like to tell you more about using 3D printing bones during implantology courses. Such models must display some attributes, let us see if SLS technology is proper for this application.
- It must accurately copy anatomical structure.
This attribute in great part depends on right converting DICOM files into STL files. However it is not all. Without high printing’s resolution we are not able to make models with a smooth surface. A layer of the material, that is sintered in one time, is important too. In SLS technology the really thin layer of the material is sintered by the laser beam so that even small details of anatomical structure are noticeable on the ready model.
- It must be solid inside.
We cannot study implantology without cutting and drilling features. Because of that, it is necessary to completely fill the models inside. Today we can print bones with good surface on the cheaper printers using thermoplastic materials. Because of the precision, using this method in dental application is debatable. The secret of an attractive price of such solutions is a very low material consumption. Any attempt to make solid inside model using thermoplastic materials, makes no sense. We can achieve much better results with selective laser sintering technology.
- It must give possibility to control depth and direction of implant bed preparation.
It is one of most important things in studying implantology. You must be capable of controlling what you are doing. The material should be strong and hard enough to shape safely the implant bed preparation. If material is too brittle, the threading can be destroyed when putting out a drill bit. On implantology courses students use clinical drill bits, therefore the material should not be too hard in order to drill in it. Polyamide is an optimal material. You could think that it is a little too hard when you start drilling, but after a few minutes you realize that implant bed preparation is saved perfectly.
We would like to notice that we made models of bones which are ideal for this application. You can read about our support for student scientific group from Medical University of Warsaw. SLS technology guarantees the highest level of accuracy and a smooth surface. Models made by polyamide are great for the first implantology experiences. We hope that it will be used in educational application in the future.