For his master's thesis, Filip Dominas needed a way to display the results of his biomedical engineering studies. He decided to go beyond 3D models, and use a more tangible way to illustrate his point, simultaneously showing application of a new technology in preparing for bone fracture surgeries.
Filip created a simplified 3D model of the bones, suitable for 3D printing. For this case, only the fibula, tibia and talus bones were fully modeled. Ligaments were reduced to simple connectors in-between. Other elements, such as veins or nerves are skipped, due to their insignificance for the mechanical stress analysis. Filip also modeled and printed the stabilizer itself in the form of plates to be attached to the 3D printed bones. Finally, the model was divided into parts corresponding with ZMorph 3D printer work area dimensions and prepared for printing using Voxelizer software. After the parts were finished, Filip combined them together, resulting in a 1:1 scale model.
In this study, a real-life case of a bone fracture was analyzed, in order to find the best way to ensure successful healing of the tibia bone fracture by varying a stabilization method of a fibula. Five different scenarios were modeled, calculated, summarized and compared. 3D printing on a ZMorph 3D printer has been chosen as the most cost-effective method of displaying results of the study and complete the master's thesis. A similar process can be used by engineers to prepare showcase models and even create innovations for medical devices. Analogically, doctors can use 3D printing to communicate more clearly with their patients and prepare better for surgeries.