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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 838575, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/838575
Research Article

Rapid Prototyping in Orthopaedic Surgery: A User's Guide

Orthopaedic Department, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow G3 8SJ, UK

Received 22 September 2011; Accepted 6 December 2011

Academic Editor: Akihiro Takano

Copyright © 2012 Mark Frame and James S. Huntley. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Rapid prototyping (RP) is applicable to orthopaedic problems involving three dimensions, particularly fractures, deformities, and reconstruction. In the past, RP has been hampered by cost and difficulties accessing the appropriate expertise. Here we outline the history of rapid prototyping and furthermore a process using open-source software to produce a high fidelity physical model from CT data. This greatly mitigates the expense associated with the technique, allowing surgeons to produce precise models for preoperative planning and procedure rehearsal. We describe the method with an illustrative case.