Formero was recently approached by the Australian Craniofacial Unit at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide to create a medical model of a patients skull using their innovative Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Technology. The Australian Craniofacial Unit and the Cranio-Maxillo Facial Foundation, led by Professor David J David AC and his team, has treated over 16,000 patients with craniofacial deformities over the last 35 years. Model skulls have proven essential in these pre-surgical preparations, enabling the surgical team to visualise and plan exactly what needs to be done before the patient enters the operating theatre.
Upon receiving the data, Formero’s highly experienced Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) team extracts, orders and passes the 2D Images through Formero's medical imaging software to create a single 3D file. This process of converting CT Scans can traditionally take up to a few weeks, but using Formero’s advanced tecniques, print ready CAD data and SLS models are available in a matter of days. A technician then calculates the relative tissue density required, and segments this tissue into its own 3D Model, basing its geometry on "real world' parameters that were set with the scan itself. The Skull is then fabricated by one of Formero's SLS machines under strict supervision by the staff.
SLS technology offers unlimited complexity, internal and external. The tough nylon material used can handle the rigors of surgical planning, testing and cutting, and also imparts a slight light diffusive quality to the part, very similar to real bone. Most importantly, skull models allow for a rapid response to a time critical event.