Solid Freeform Fabrication of Custom Cranial Implants Designed in a Phantom-based Haptic Environment

M. Mazzoli, M. Germani, and R. Raffaeli (Italy)


Haptic environment, Solid Freeform Fabrication, PHANToM® -based tools, custom-made cranial plates.


Repairing severe human skull injuries requires customized cranial implants. Trauma, cranial tumors, infected craniotomy bone flaps and neurosurgical external decompression are the main causes for large cranial defects. The success of the reconstructive cranial surgery depends on diverse aspects regarding the preoperative evaluation of the defect, the design and manufacturing of the implant and the execution of the operation. Currently, the design of membranes is mainly a manual work, even with the use of CAD facilities, and results in a time consuming and user-dependent skull reconstruction. This paper presents an automated design methodology for custom-made cranioplasty plates in a PHANToM® -based haptic environment and the possibility to manufacture the same using Solid Freeform Fabrication technologies.

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