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Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology was conceived in the mid 1980s as a method of manufacturing models, particularly to support the design of new motor vehicles. However as early as 1995 the potential to take data from medical scanners and generate models of patient anatomy to assist clinicians plan complex surgical procedures had been recognised, albeit by researchers rather than the mainstream medical industry. Over the last 15 years the production of preoperative planning models has increased dramatically and moreover, the potential to produce customised implants recognised.
Although RP technology is now established in the medical field work is still on going to develop new applications (the majority of cases still reside in craniomaxillofacial field), explore the use of different RP methods and overall improve the efficiency of the approach.
In this project the latest medical data processing software tools will be used to generate models for preoperative planning and also medical training and the results reviewed. A comprehensive literature review in the field has been conducted and publications in the medical scanning, RP, preoperative planning, biomaterials, customised medical implants and jigs are presented and discussed. Several case studies which are particularly pertinent to the trials undertaken by the author have been identified and incorporated into the report and explained in detail in order to illustrate the capability, potential and flexibility of this technology within the medical sector.
Brennan, J.:Production of Anatomical Models from CT Scan Data. Masters Dissertation. De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom.