Introduction: 3-dimensional models (3D) appeared in the medical field 20 years ago. The recent development of consumer 3D printers explains the renewed interest in this technology. We describe the technical and practical modalities of this surgical tool, illustrated by concrete examples.
Technical note: The OsiriX(®) software (version 5.8.5, Geneva, Switzerland) was used for 3D surface reconstruction of the area of interest, the generation and export of ".stl" file. The NetFabb(®) software (Basic version 5.1.1, Lupburg, Germany) provided the preparation of ".stl" file. The 3D-printer was an Up plus 2 Easy 120(®) (PP3DP, Beijing Technology Co. TierTime Ltd., Chine). The printer used fused deposition modeling. The softwar Up!(®) allowed the 3d impression as required.
Results: The first case illustrated the value of 3D printing in the upper (frontal sinus and orbital roof). The second case concerned the preconfiguration of the osteosynthesis material for a complex fracture of the midface through the "mirroring" system. The third case showed the conformation of a prereconstruction for segmental mandibulectomy.
Discussion: Current 3D-printers are easy to use and represent a promising solution for medical prototyping. The 3D printing will quickly become undeniable because of its advantages: information sharing, simulation, surgical guides, pedagogy.
Keywords: 3D printing; Chirurgie maxillofaciale; Impression 3D; Maxillofacial surgery; Prototypage rapide; Rapid prototyping.
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