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Prototyping Complex Human Anatomy

Prototype of Spine (Blue) and Ivory In-vertebral Disc (PSI). After fitment check, PSI is manufactured in Titanium

Prototype of Spine (Blue) and Ivory In-vertebral Disc (PSI). After fitment check, PSI is manufactured in Titanium

Large scale production of patient-specific models faces an obvious conundrum – if every human is unique, how can bespoke devices be produced enmasse and within reasonable timeframes? Auxein Medical, a next-generation creator of advanced orthopedic implants and other medical devices, has tackled this challenge head-on: “no matter what, every individual deserves personal and high quality care” remarks Technical Director Gaurav Luthra. Auxein Medical provides patientspecific implants and anatomy prototypes to its global customer base, enabling surgeons, medical practitioners and researchers to plan for and execute complex operations on patients of all shapes and sizes. Behind Auxein’s personalized prototypes of today – and the speed and accuracy with which they can delivered – sits a Stratasys F170.
“It is extremely critical that the fit of the patient-specific implant is perfect and easy on the human anatomy. With the printing capability of 0.127 mm layer thickness using Stratasys’ F170, the accuracy and fitment parameters are easily achievable.”
Gaurav Luthra , Technical Director – Auxein Medical Pvt. Ltd.
Patient Anatomy prototype for planning surgery and implant design
Patient Anatomy prototype for planning surgery and implant design

The issues with

conventional methods

Historically, producing a model of a patient’s femur, for example, would require tooling prepared via conventional manufacturing methods. If preparing a bespoke femur prototype for each of John, Jane and Jim would require custom tooling, it would be too costly and lengthy as a business model. The issues with such conventional methods are self-evident. For one, broad average body geometries fundamentally ignore the nuances between individuals. Mapping out a plan to diagnose and address a patient issue would be inherently imprecise; practitioners would be forced to rely on prior experience to visualize patient anatomy.
Power tool Casing prototype printed with ABS material
Power tool Casing prototype printed with ABS material

Design Validation

Revolutionized

The introduction of Stratasys 3D printing capabilities to Auxein Medical’s workflow has transformed design validation and the ultimate end-to-end manufacturing process. Now, Auxein Medical records an individual patient’s anatomy through CT and MRI scans, renders the scan(s) through CAD and can rapidly print a physical model of this patient data and/or a CMF/Maxillofacial implant model. With simple post-processing like sanding and branding, Auxein Medical can speedily present ultra-precise prototypes for engineers and surgeons to review and modify. If a patient prototype or implant model requires correction, it can be done quickly and efficiently. Through adoption of additive manufacturing, Auxein’s previous design validation timeframe of 10+ days has been cut down to just two days. Plus, without the need for expensive conventional tooling and re-tooling, Auxein Medical estimates the average cost per custom model has been cut by 80%. Through cost and time savings, the Stratasys F170 has catalyzed meaningful business expansion, enabling Auxein to extend its portfolio to include power tools casing for joint and trauma surgery and other medical devices. Auxein Medical sees integrity, quality, and innovation as the backbone of growth in its enterprise and is looking forward to continued investment in 3D printing and similar technologies to further this philosophy.

Case Study
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