LETTER


Workflow of CAD / CAM Scoliosis Brace Adjustment in Preparation Using 3D Printing



Hans-Rudolf Weiss1, *, Nicos Tournavitis2, Xiaofeng Nan3, Maksym Borysov4, Lothar Paul5
1 Orthopedic Rehabilitation Service, Alzeyer Str. 23, D-55457 Gensingen, Germany
2 Scoliosis Best Practice Rehab Services, Thessaloniki, Greece
3 Nan Xiaofeng's Spinal Orthopedic Workshop, Beilin district of Xi'an Shaanxi, China
4 Orttech-plus Rehabilitation Service, Ukraine, Kharkiv
5 GFaI, Volmerstraße 3, 12489 Berlin


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© 2017 Weiss et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Service, Alzeyer Str. 23, D-55457, Gensingen, Germany, Tel: ++49 (0)6727894040; E-mail: hr.weiss@skoliose-dr-weiss.com


Abstract

Background:

High correction bracing is the most effective conservative treatment for patients with scoliosis during growth. Still today braces for the treatment of scoliosis are made by casting patients while computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) is available with all possibilities to standardize pattern specific brace treatment and improve wearing comfort.

Objective:

CAD / CAM brace production mainly relies on carving a polyurethane foam model which is the basis for vacuuming a polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) brace. Purpose of this short communication is to describe the workflow currently used and to outline future requirements with respect to 3D printing technology.

Method:

Description of the steps of virtual brace adjustment as available today are content of this paper as well as an outline of the great potential there is for the future 3D printing technology.

Results:

For 3D printing of scoliosis braces it is necessary to establish easy to use software plug-ins in order to allow adding 3D printing technology to the current workflow of virtual CAD / CAM brace adjustment. Textures and structures can be added to the brace models at certain well defined locations offering the potential of more wearing comfort without losing in-brace correction.

Conclusions:

Advances have to be made in the field of CAD / CAM software tools with respect to design and generation of individually structured brace models based on currently well established and standardized scoliosis brace libraries.

Keywords: Scoliosis, Brace treatment, CAD / CAM, 3D printing, Additive manufacturing, Correction, Comfort, Outcome.