Rapid manufacturing of bioceramic/polymer composite implants by selective laser sintering
by L. Hao, M.M. Savalani, R.A. Harris, Y. Zhang, K.E. Tanner
International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology (IJCAT), Vol. 36, No. 1, 2009

Abstract: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), an additive rapid manufacturing technique, is capable of producing the required product directly and automatically from a Three-Dimensional (3D) computer model representation. SLS has been selected to build implant and scaffold structures using composite materials consisting of a polymer and a bioactive ceramic. HydroxyApatite (HA), a bioceramic that encourages bone apposition, can be combined with High Density PolyEthylene (HDPE), a biocompatible polymer, to form a material with appropriate stiffness, toughness and bioactivity for use in the body. A miniature SLS system was built to minimise the usage of the expensive experimental material. It was used to determine the CO2 laser sintering operation window of the HA/HDPE composites and to investigate the effect of the process parameters on the surface morphology of the sintered HA/HDPE layer. The potential of SLS for the rapid manufacture of customised implants using HA/HDPE composite is demonstrated by the sintering of a five-layer HA-HDPE block.

Online publication date:: Mon, 22-Jun-2009

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