Media Studio's first 3D printed Titanium cranioplasty plate delivered

In a collaborative project with CUH’s Clinical Engineering Department and Cambridge University’s Neurosurgery Department, Media Studio has taken delivery of the first of a batch of six titanium plates for the repair of skull defects in patients following neurosurgery. These cranioplasty plates were designed by 3D Printing Technician, Geoffrey Oliver, for use by Consultant Neurosurgeons, Mr Adel Helmy, Mr Ivan Timofeev and Professor Peter Hutchinson. Geoff creates the design in software using CT data of the patient’s skull to ensure a precise fit. The plate is made from the resulting 3D virtual model using an additive manufacturing (3D printing) process called laser sintering, then finished to a smooth texture.

This first plate is now with CUH’s Clinical Engineering Department, where quality control checks are made before it goes to CSSD to be sterilised for surgery. It is estimated that up to fifty new plates will be required every year. The additive manufacturing process replaces the traditional method of ‘planishing’ – beating a flat sheet of metal into shape – and is not only highly accurate, being based on the patient’s own CT data, but is quicker and more cost effective.

The Ti plate shown in position on a plaster model of the cranial defect