Recente berichten

Recente berichten

Pagina's: [1] 2 3 ... 10
Hobby Projecten / Ik ga nu frame bouten omdat gelast toch niet handig is met aanpassingen
« Laatste bericht door tom project Gepost op 17 maart 2019, 14:46:05 »
Ik ben tijdje weg geweest maar ik heb mijn Kart / Skelter project beetje aangepast ik wil in plaats  van te gaan lassen wil ik met bouten gaan werken. omdat ik het gemakkelijk kan repareren en veranderen voor aanpassing voor div onderdelen,  ;)
Evenementen / Call for Abstracts for TITANIUM EUROPE 2019 in Vienna
« Laatste bericht door JSimpson Gepost op 26 november 2018, 21:15:42 »
International Titanium Association (ITA), has issued a “Call for Abstracts” for the 7th annual TITANIUM EUROPE 2019 Conference which will be held the 13-15th May 2019 at the Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen in Vienna, Austria.

TITANIUM EUROPE 2019 is organized and hosted by the International Titanium Association (ITA).  ITA is the global trade association of the world's primary titanium metal producers who together account for over 90% of worldwide titanium production.  Since 1984, ITA’s mission has been to promote and support the use of titanium metal in new and existing applications by connecting the public interested in using titanium with specialists from across the globe who may offer sales and technical assistance.

ITA provides a forum for the exchange of ideas within the industry and educates the public on every aspect of using titanium metal within their design.

TITANIUM EUROPE 2019 delegates are comprised of Delegation is comprised of 400+ high level CEO, President, Director positions who are from over 25 countries in the capacity of producing, fabricating, distributing or providing raw materials in the titanium metal industry.  Exhibition booth spaces are also limited to a total of 60 and are available now for pre-reservation at

The conference organizing committee is seeking presentation abstracts for market oriented and technical papers alike specifically covering the topics of:


·         Commercial Aerospace;

·         Global Ti Market Economic Drivers;

·         Manufacturing Technology;

·         Integrated Supply Chain

·         Military / Defense


Industrial Markets:

·         Forecasting titanium demand in Nuclear, Thermal, Renewable Power,

          Desalination, Process or Automotive;

·         Field Fabrication / Perceptions (Subset: Repair & Refurbishment);

·         Failure Analysis (Subset: Metallography);

·         Corrosion Environment Onshore Vs. Near Shore;

·         Challenges to Titanium Industry from Shipyards;


Advancement in Titanium Powder

·         Metallurgy;

·         Additive Manufacturing;

·         3D Printing



·         Medical

·         Raw Materials / World Supply Trends;

·         Consumer related markets (architectural, sporting goods, etc.);

·         Material Threats to Titanium Industry


Abstract Submission Requirements/Guidelines:   Go to click on “Events”, “TITANIUM EUROPE 2019”, “Call for Abstracts” for complete details.

The Call for Abstracts deadline is February 25, 2019.

Please Visit:

TITANIUM EUROPE 2019 will host 15-minute slide presentations and will not require formal written or peer review white papers from speakers.  Questions may be directed to Jennifer Simpson, ITA 1-303-404-2221 Telephone or Email at
Hobby Projecten / Eigenbouw welk materiaal is goed om mee te bouwen ?
« Laatste bericht door tom project Gepost op 13 oktober 2018, 19:40:34 »
Hallo ik ben thuis bezig met eigenbouw het voorbeeld is er al beetje te zien maar nu is mijn vraag waar kan ik dit goed mee bouwen er zijn zoveel soorten metalen.. de afmetingen zijn 165 lengte, en breedte van 65, de rechthoekige chassisbalk is 25x50 en de driekhoeken zijn van 25x25, Geef jullie alternatieven maar! :o
Tantalium / How to get the high purity tantalum?
« Laatste bericht door Tiarticle Gepost op 10 september 2018, 09:15:54 »
Tantalum belongs to the refractory metal group and is widely used as a minor component in alloys. Its chemical properties are excellent, no matter whether it is cold or hot, it does not react with hydrochloric acid, concentrated nitric acid and “Aqua regia”. Its chemical inertness and relatively low price make it a good alternative to platinum. In addition, tantalum is also highly resistant to corrosion, but its corrosion resistance is not due to tantalum itself, but due to the formation of a stable tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) protective film on its surface. Tantalum can be used to manufacture evaporation vessels, as well as tubes, rectifiers, and electrolytic capacitors.

Tantalum, always together with the chemically similar niobium, is usually found in the mineral groups of tantalite, columbite and coltan (a mix of columbite and tantalite, though not recognised as a separate mineral species). So, how to get the tantalum of high purity?

1 Tantalum powder can be obtained by metal thermal reduction (sodium thermal reduction) method. The potassium fluotantalate is reduced with sodium metal under an inert atmosphere: K2TaF7 + 5Na-→Ta+5NaF+2KF. The reaction was carried out in a stainless steel tank, and the reaction was quickly completed when the temperature was heated to 900 °C. The powder prepared by this method has irregular grain shape and fine particle size, and is suitable for making tantalum capacitors.

2 The tantalum powder can also be obtained by molten salt electrolysis: a molten salt of a mixture of potassium fluoroantimonate, potassium fluoride and potassium chloride is used as an electrolyte, and tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) is dissolved therein and electrolyzed at 750 °C. This method can obtain a bismuth powder having a purity of 99.8 to 99.9%.

3 Tantalum can also be obtained by carbothermal reduction of Ta2O5. The reduction is generally carried out in two steps: first, a mixture of a certain ratio of Ta2O5 and carbon is made into tantalum carbide (TaC) at 1800 to 2000 ° C in a hydrogen atmosphere. Then, TaC and Ta2O5 are prepared into a mixture in a certain ratio, and reduced to tantalum in a vacuum.

4 Tantalum can also be obtained by thermal decomposition or hydrogen reduction of chloride. The dense metal crucible can be prepared by vacuum arc, electron beam, plasma beam melting or powder metallurgy.

Stanford Advanced Materials
Titanium producten / Titanium metal and gas are used in a wide range of applications
« Laatste bericht door Tiarticle Gepost op 30 augustus 2018, 10:32:20 »
Titanium is corrosion-resistant, so everyone usually thinks it is an inert metal. On the contrary, titanium is actually a very active metal. It has a low equilibrium potential and a high degree of thermodynamic corrosion in the medium, but it is actually a lot. Titanium in the medium is very stable, especially titanium can't react with liquid and solid, and it can't be combined. Even Wangshui can't help it. However, titanium reacts very strongly to gas. Titanium likes nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Many gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane are combined. This characteristic of titanium, which has a great affinity with gas, is widely used in our lives.

The most common one is the fireworks that are released during the holiday season. The contribution of titanium here is not small. When titanium powder and oxygen are rapidly combined to burn, they can produce intense heat and brilliance. This feature of titanium not only enhances the atmosphere of people's joy, but also can be used in the military. The dazzling light of the signal flare is the combination of titanium and oxygen. In daily lighting, such as the arc lamp, the right amount of titanium is added. The compound can increase its brightness. The strong absorption of titanium's affinity for air removes air and creates a vacuum. For example, using a vacuum pump made of titanium, the air can be pumped clean and free. In the metallurgical industry, adding a small amount of titanium to molten steel can “eat” the gas and impurities inside, can play a good role in deoxidation and nitrogen removal, and can eliminate the harmful effects of sulfur, thereby improving the mechanical properties of steel. And corrosion resistance.

Writing: Lixing Titanium cathy
Titanium productie / Titanium plate titanium alloy material introduction
« Laatste bericht door Tiarticle Gepost op 20 augustus 2018, 10:52:44 »
Titanium plate for glasses, referred to as glasses plate, is a plate made of titanium material, which is divided into pure titanium glasses plate, titanium alloy glasses plate and memory titanium glasses plate.

Titanium has good corrosion resistance and is similar to platinum, and its mechanical properties are excellent. Used in the glasses frame is light, flexible, corrosion resistant and so on.

However, titanium and titanium alloy glasses are expensive to produce, are highly demanding in buckling, stamping, cutting, and welding, are not easily soldered and plated, and must be completed in a vacuum. Therefore, the price is relatively expensive, and it is only used for medium and high-end frames.

As a new type of eyewear material, titanium metal has been favored by more and more consumers because of its advantages of lightness, corrosion resistance, anti-allergy and high strength. With the development of titanium materials, the processing technology has become more and more mature. There are many kinds of titanium-based frames such as pure titanium, B-titanium and memory titanium. Among them, pure titanium material frame purity requirements of 99.9% (excluding gaskets, screws, stipules and leg sleeves), its logo is called PURETITANIUM, or abbreviated as Ti-P. However, some manufacturers have also carried out the above identification on some non-pure titanium or titanium alloy materials, and the consumers have insufficient discriminating ability for pure titanium frames, resulting in the appearance of frames after consumers wear titanium frames. Rust, skin allergies and other phenomena have harmed the interests of consumers. Here are a few simple ways to identify a pure titanium frame.

1. By hand weight, usually the alloy frame has a specific gravity of about 8.9g/cm3, and the pure titanium frame has a specific gravity of about 4.5g/cm3. Since the titanium material has a weight equivalent to half of the alloy frame, it is lighter by hand. This is one of the easiest ways to distinguish between titanium and non-titanium frames.

2. Observe the welding points of the nose support and the nose support bucket. The welding of pure titanium material is vacuum oxygen-free welding. Here, the welding mark is "step" shape, the welding of alloy material is spot welding, and the welding mark is "slope". "This is one of the effective ways to distinguish between titanium and non-titanium frames."

3. Observe whether there is a gasket at the hinge joint. The pure titanium frame should not directly contact titanium and titanium at the hinge part, otherwise the phenomenon of wrinkling at the joint and poor joint of the temple may occur. Usually, two thin shims are placed in the hinge part of the pure titanium frame to separate the upper and lower hinges. Therefore, checking the presence or absence of a shim at the hinge is also a good way to identify if it is a pure titanium frame.

4. Use a magnet to make a magnetic reaction, loosen the frame hinge as much as possible, and use a magnet to attract it under free-moving conditions. If the temple is shaken under the attraction of the magnet, the frame is not pure titanium, otherwise the mirror is The frame may be a pure titanium frame.

The titanium plates used in the frames are divided into three categories, pure titanium; TC4; and B titanium 15333, pure titanium is divided into soft and hard boards, generally soft boards are slightly more expensive than hard boards, soft boards are generally The hardness is required to be 67--80; it can be stamped, and the hardness of the hard board is generally 90-97; it cannot be stamped and can only be cut by wire. The 15333 titanium material used for high-end glasses frames is difficult to process.

The advantages of β titanium as a spectacle frame and eyeglass frame:

Β-titanium alloy is a titanium material which is delayed in cooling at the zero boundary point of titanium to complete β-particles. Its processing technology is higher than pure titanium, which has better strength, fatigue resistance and environmental resistance than pure titanium and other titanium alloys. Corrosion property, shape plasticity, solid solution state, its elastic modulus is about 80GPa, slightly higher than the elastic modulus of titanium-nickel shape memory alloy (about 60 GPa), it has high elastic recovery force (ie The arch wire has no permanent deformation after bending at a large distance. The hardness is low, it is easy to form, and can be bent or formed into a complicated shape without being broken. The spectacle frame made by the lens compensates for the lack of elasticity of the pure titanium frame, the elasticity and the memory characteristics, and the processing performance and welding of the β titanium alloy are excellent, and the spectacle frame and style made by the spectacle frame are more. A new generation of glasses for making materials. Therefore, the frame of β-titanium alloy is popular in the developed countries such as Europe and the United States as a medium-to-high-end decoration and a fashion. It has been widely used in the production of high-grade titanium frames and wire.

Writing: Lixing Titanium cathy
Titanium producten / The indissoluble bond between Soviet Russia and titanium alloy nuclear submarine
« Laatste bericht door Tiarticle Gepost op 17 augustus 2018, 10:27:16 »
Titanium and titanium alloys are new structural materials developed in the 1950s. They have a series of advantages such as high strength, low density, non-magnetic and corrosion resistance. They are favored by naval powers and are widely used in the ship field.

As early as 1963, the Soviet Union and Russia began to study the application of titanium alloys in submarines, breaking through the processing and use of a large number of titanium alloys. The proportion and level of titanium alloy used in submarines are among the highest in the world. In addition, Russia also has a research and development production system for titanium alloys for ships, which can produce various titanium alloy materials for ships, such as titanium alloy nT-3B for submarine shells, titanium alloy nT-7M for marine engines, and titanium alloy nT for power plants. -5B and so on. However, due to the production cost of titanium alloys, the Soviet Union/Russia has stopped using titanium alloy pressure-resistant hulls since the construction of the “Akula”-class attack-type nuclear submarines, but titanium alloys are still used in marine equipment or systems.

Unlike Western countries such as the United States and Britain, which mainly use titanium alloys to make submersible pressure-resistant casings, Su/Russia is the only country in the world that uses titanium alloys to build nuclear submarine pressure-resistant casings. According to statistics, from 1963 to the present, the Soviet Union/Russia has built a total of 19 types of 19 titanium alloy submarines. At present, there are only two "Serra"-class attack-type nuclear submarines and one "Typhoon"-class strategic nuclear submarine in service.

The "French" class cruise missile nuclear submarine is the world's first titanium alloy shell structure submarine. This class has only one ship and was commissioned in 1969. The "French" class submarine is mainly used for the performance and function test of titanium alloy submarine. The Soviet Union mastered the manufacture and welding of high-strength titanium alloy hull structure during the design and construction of "French" class submarine, casting and forging of titanium alloy and Manufacturing process for valve parts and other mechanical components. In addition, the boat itself is also a laboratory. The former Soviet Union tested new prototypes of weapons and equipment under real-scale conditions. These specially developed products played an important role in the development of new Soviet/Russian titanium alloy submarines.

The first boat of the "Alpha" attack-type nuclear submarine was commissioned in 1971. The boat used a number of new technologies, especially the use of a large number of alloy materials. The "Alpha" class submarine hull was double-layered with a high-pressure casing and a pressure-resistant casing. Titanium alloy thick plates, titanium alloy thick plates not only have good toughness, but also have high strength, which can resist the shock wave caused by the explosion of deep water bombs. The boat has outstanding depth and high speed, and its safe dive depth is 900m. The maximum underwater speed is 41kn-42kn.

   In addition to the use of titanium alloy in the housing, the "Alpha" submarine also uses a large number of titanium alloy pipes, titanium valves and their titanium alloy fittings, heat exchange plates and pipes, propellers and propeller shafts in power drives (compared to the previous use) The special copper alloy, under the condition of constant speed, the weight is reduced by more than 50%, the service life is more than 5 times that of the copper alloy.) The key components such as the sonar shroud and the torpedo launching system on the submarine use titanium alloy.

The "Mike"-class attack-type nuclear submarine built only one ship and served in the former Soviet Navy in 1988. The boat adopts a double-shell structure, and the external pressure-resistant casing uses a thick plate of titanium alloy material, and the inner and outer casings have a large spacing, and are divided into seven compartments. The reactor on the boat uses a pressurized water reactor, and its engine disk and rotor blades, pipes, valves and fittings, heat exchange plates and pipes are all made of titanium alloy. The navigation system, search radar, sonar (titanium material shroud) are installed on the boat; the weapon system is also significantly increased compared with the "alpha" level. There are 6 torpedo tubes (radiation tubes made of titanium alloy, the strength is improved). The torpedo launch parameters and other performance are greatly improved), so it can launch a variety of weapons such as cruise missiles, anti-submarine missiles and torpedoes, greatly enriching the submarine's attack means and improving the combat effectiveness of the submarine. During the experimental operation, the boat had landed to a depth of 1,250 m, creating a world record for the depth of combat submarines.

  The "Serra" class first boat was commissioned in 1984, and a total of 2 types and 4 ships were built. The "Serra" class adopts a double-shell structure, and the external pressure-resistant casing uses a thick plate of titanium alloy material, and the inner and outer casings have a large spacing. The power plant is a pressurized water reactor and two steam turbines. The engine disk and rotor blades, pipes, valves and fittings, heat exchange plates and pipes are all made of titanium alloy. The navigation system, search radar, sonar (titanium material shroud) are installed on the boat. The propeller and the propeller shaft in the power drive are made of titanium alloy. The weapon system is equipped with 8 pneumatic and hydraulic balanced torpedo launchers. It is a launch tube made of titanium alloy, which can carry multi-type torpedoes, anti-submarine missiles and long-range cruise missiles. It has strong attack capability.

The typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine is the world's largest nuclear submarine. Its first boat was commissioned in 1982. The "Typhoon" class nuclear submarine adopts a double-shell structure, the non-pressure-resistant casing is made of high-strength and low-magnet steel, and the pressure-resistant casing is made of titanium alloy. The "Typhoon" class has a total of 19 cabins, which are viewed from the cross section as "good" type layouts, and titanium alloy materials are used in the main pressure hull, the pressure-resistant central section and the torpedo compartment. The "Typhoon" class's sturdy dual-shell structure allows most of the torpedo's explosive force to be absorbed by the double-shell pressure chamber and the water outside the casing when it is attacked by ordinary torpedoes, thus protecting the hull. In addition, the reactor piping on the boat, engine and rotor blades, valves and their accessories, heat exchange plates, most pipelines, propellers and propeller shafts in power drives, navigation system fixed components, search radar fixed components, sonar The shroud is made of a titanium alloy material.

Titanium alloys have long been widely used in submarine haulage equipment and systems. In addition to the aforementioned Qin alloy hull applications, Su/Russ also uses titanium alloy materials in submarine sonar devices, nuclear power plants, and submarine piping components.

On the titanium alloy pressure-resistant shell submarine, the Soviet Union began to use the titanium alloy pressure-resistant hull from the "Akura"-class attack-type nuclear submarine in service in 1984 (the design time is "Serra" and "Typhoon" After the level), use high-strength steel instead. The current Russian government attaches great importance to the development of the titanium alloy industry. Russia has issued a large number of support policies to save and revive the titanium alloy industry after the collapse of the Soviet Union, forming the world's largest manufacturer and manufacturer of sponge titanium - VSMPO- AVISMA Associates has laid the foundation for the wide application of Russian titanium alloys in submarines.

In addition, in order to ensure that the Russian Navy continues to lead other countries in the field of titanium applications, Russian materials and submarine experts continue to call on the government to develop titanium alloy development plans, while strengthening the research and development of titanium alloy technology, including high-strength titanium with strength greater than 1300MPa. Alloy, high-formability titanium alloy with better welding performance, low-cost titanium alloy material suitable for large-scale applications. With the recovery of Russia's national strength and the breakthrough of the above-mentioned key technologies of titanium alloys, the proportion of titanium alloy materials used in Russian submarines will further increase in the future.

Writing:Lixing Titanium cathy
Titanium verspanen / Characteristics Influencing Titanium Machinability
« Laatste bericht door Tiarticle Gepost op 13 augustus 2018, 10:43:57 »
The fact that titanium sometimes is classified as difficult to machine by traditional methods in part can be explained by the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of the metal. For example:

    Titanium is a poor conductor of heat. Heat, generated by the cutting action, does not dissipate quickly. Therefore, most of the heat is concentrated on the cutting edge and the tool face.
    Titanium has a strong alloying tendency or chemical reactivity with materials in the cutting tools at tool operating temperatures. This causes galling, welding, and smearing along with rapid destruction of the cutting tool.
    Titanium has a relatively low modulus of elasticity, thereby having more "springiness" than steel. Work has a tendency to move away from the cutting tool unless heavy cuts are maintained or proper backup is employed. Slender parts tend to deflect under tool pressures, causing chatter, tool rubbing, and tolerance problems. Rigidity of the entire system is consequently very important, as is the use of sharp, properly shaped cutting tools.
    Titanium's fatigue properties are strongly influenced by a tendency to surface damage if certain machining techniques are used. Care must be exercised to avoid the loss of surface integrity, especially during grinding. (This characteristic is described in greater detail below.)
    Titanium's work-hardening characteristics are such that titanium alloys demonstrate a complete absence of "built-up edge." Because of the lack of a stationary mass of metal (built-up edge) ahead of the cutting tool, a high shearing angle is formed. This causes a thin chip to contact a relatively small area on the cutting tool face and results in high bearing loads per unit area. The high bearing force, combined with the friction developed by the chip as it rushes over the bearing area, results in a great increase in heat on a very localized portion of the cutting tool. Furthermore, the combination of high bearing forces and heat produces cratering action close to the cutting edge, resulting in rapid tool breakdown.

With respect to titanium's fatigue properties, briefly noted in the above list, the following details are of interest. As stated, loss of surface integrity must be avoided. If this precaution is not observed, a dramatic loss of mechanical behavior (such as fatigue) can result. Even proper grinding practices using conventional parameters (wheel speed, downfeed, etc.) may result in appreciably lower fatigue strength due to surface damage. The basic fatigue properties of many titanium alloys rely on a favorable compressive surface stress induced by tool action during machining. Electromechanical removal of material, producing a stress-free surface, can cause a debit from the customary design fatigue strength properties. (These results are similar when mechanical processes such as grinding are involved, although the reasons are different.)

Writing: Lixing Titanium cathy
Titanium producten / Titanium and titanium alloy as an advantages materials for ship
« Laatste bericht door Tiarticle Gepost op 13 augustus 2018, 10:42:28 »
With its own excellent features,Titanium and titanium alloy almost meet all the requirements of the materials used on the ship, even a perfect ship material. The advantages are as follows:

(1) light, high strength. Titanium density of 4.5g / cm3, higher than the density of aluminum 2.7g / cm3, lower than the density of iron 7.9g / cm3, only 57% of iron. The density of titanium is less than 2 times that of aluminum, but the strength is three times that of aluminum. In industrial engineering applications, the choice of high strength than the metal, the titanium alloy can be used as the preferred material. Under the same conditions, the depth of the dive made of titanium dive depth of up to 10,000 meters, while the depth of steel submersible diving depth is far below. In addition, titanium magnetic zero, in any intensity of the magnetic field will not be disturbed, so when fighting at sea, the use of mines, torpedoes and other magnetic mine attack weapons, titanium shell for the manufacture of hull no offensive, with good Of the anti-guard role, this feature by the military engineering applications of all ages.

(2) maritime climate environment, good corrosion resistance. When the titanium alloy in the air and some oxygen-containing media, due to titanium and oxygen has a strong affinity, the surface can quickly form a layer of dense, strong adhesion and good stability of the oxide film, in many media can not easily be destroyed, Thereby protecting the titanium matrix. The results show that the corrosion rates of titanium and titanium alloy in the three areas of the South China Sea, the North Sea and the East China Sea are nearly zero for 16 years in all immersion, tidal zone, splash zone and oceanic climate. Therefore, the use of titanium alloy ship manufacturing on the one hand can extend the service life, on the other hand can reduce the late corrosion and take the surface as the cost of protection treatment.

(3) excellent overall performance. Titanium alloy can be hot and cold forming, free forging, extrusion and welding and other processing, has a good processing adaptability. Data show that the titanium alloy in the range of -60 ~ 20 ℃ impact toughness test itself does not exist brittle transition point. In addition, compared with aluminum and steel, titanium alloy heat resistance, low temperature performance and fracture toughness of the best.

Writing: Lixing Titanium cathy
At first glance, the line of cheerfully colored plastic skulls atop professor Laurent Lantieri’s bookshelf might be out-of-season Halloween decorations. But a closer look reveals something less than cheery: jagged holes, missing jaws and crumpled eye sockets. The skulls represent something very real — injuries that Lantieri has fixed.

Only the most seriously injured — whether by trauma or disease — end up in Lantieri’s office at Paris’ Georges Pompidou Hospital. The plastic surgeon has been repairing deformities since 1994. In 2010, he and his team carried out the world’s first full face transplant.

Lantieri does more than mend broken bones; he tries to help his patients look as close to normal as possible. In the past, he spent long hours in the operating room, opening hundreds upon hundreds of boxes of generic plates, casts and screws, searching for the best fit for patients. Despite his painstaking work, he often felt frustrated because of the off-the-shelf parts he had to use: “Before we were just guessing, trying to do it with the CT scan and using standard material … it was complicated, we never had the correct, perfect shape.”

That’s starting to change. Today, when Lantieri heads into the OR, he has a customized repair kit tricked out with titanium plates that are exact replicas of the patient’s own bones and screws that have been hand-fitted to secure existing bones to the new replacement parts.

Since 2008, he has been working with Materialise, a Belgian additive manufacturing and design company, to build better parts. Using a 3D CAT scanner, Lantieri creates a 3D scan of a patient’s face. Materialise clinical engineers then use a virtual 3D model of the patient’s undamaged bones, based on a CT scan, as a guide to build patient-specific implants that replace the damaged bones. A shattered cheekbone on the left side of a person’s face is replaced with a mirror image from the right side. A destroyed orbital socket can be made whole by matching it to the remaining socket.

Once the model is approved, Materialise uses Concept Laser 3D-printing machines to “print” the new implants — first as a prototype that Lantieri can measure against a 3D model of the skull to ensure a perfect fit, and then as the final product.

“In the past, I was just guessing,” Lantieri says. “We never had the correct shape. But using 3D-printed skulls — to have them in my own hands — to determine what are the difficulties, where are the impediments in advance, it makes a huge difference.”

Laurent Lantieri, a plastic surgeon at Paris’ Georges Pompidou Hospital, says the custom-built parts help him achieve his ultimate goal: “We’re trying to give back normalcy to the patient.” Image credit: Materialise

The 3D printers build the parts from titanium powder. Lasers melt the powder and shape it into each patient’s one-of-a-kind “bone.” No matter how jagged the edge of the remaining bone is, the printer can make an exact match. Some replacement pieces are extraordinarily complex, such as those made to replace bones ravaged by disease. Because the pieces are going into human bodies, they need to be flawless.

“We are trying to be as close as possible to the original face,” Lantieri says. “We’re trying to give back normalcy to the patient.”

Concept Laser’s LaserCUSING machines use multiple lasers, which enable them to print faster and more cost-effectively than other 3D printers.

Last year, GE acquired a controlling stake in Concept Laser, and the company is now part of GE Additive, a new business dedicated to supplying 3D printers, materials and engineering consulting services.

Once removed from the printer, the pieces are hand-finished before being matched with screws, and even screwdrivers, in a specialized kit.

“The OR nurses love them (the kits),” Lantieri says. “They just have to open the box and we have all the different elements in order of use. No more boxes. We save time because we know exactly what we have and where it goes. Everything is exactly what I want and what I need for each step.”

“In the past, I was just guessing,” says Lantieri. “But using 3D-printed skulls — to have them in my own hands — to determine what are the difficulties, where are the impediments in advance, it makes a huge difference.” Image credit: Materialise

Although the 3D-printing method means spending more time in the planning stages, it makes the operation itself much quicker. That’s good for the patient, the doctors and the pocketbook. Less time in surgery means less expense.

The use of 3D printing for reconstructive surgery will only grow in the future, Lantieri says. “The outcomes are so superior,” he says.
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