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Open AccessArticle

3D Direct Printing of Silicone Meniscus Implant Using a Novel Heat-Cured Extrusion-Based Printer

1
Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
2
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 70 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
3
Center for Population Health Sciences, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, 11 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308232, Singapore
4
School of Primary, Community and Social Care, Keele University, Keele ST5 5BG, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051031
Received: 30 March 2020 / Revised: 24 April 2020 / Accepted: 25 April 2020 / Published: 1 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process–Structure–Properties in Polymer Additive Manufacturing)
The first successful direct 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), of heat-cured silicone meniscal implants, using biocompatible and bio-implantable silicone resins is reported. Silicone implants have conventionally been manufactured by indirect silicone casting and molding methods which are expensive and time-consuming. A novel custom-made heat-curing extrusion-based silicone 3D printer which is capable of directly 3D printing medical silicone implants is introduced. The rheological study of silicone resins and the optimization of critical process parameters are described in detail. The surface and cross-sectional morphologies of the printed silicone meniscus implant were also included. A time-lapsed simulation study of the heated silicone resin within the nozzle using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was done and the results obtained closely resembled real time 3D printing. Solidworks one-convection model simulation, when compared to the on-off model, more closely correlated with the actual probed temperature. Finally, comparative mechanical study between 3D printed and heat-molded meniscus is conducted. The novel 3D printing process opens up the opportunities for rapid 3D printing of various customizable medical silicone implants and devices for patients and fills the current gap in the additive manufacturing industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; material extrusion; silicone; meniscus implant 3D printing; additive manufacturing; material extrusion; silicone; meniscus implant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Luis, E.; Pan, H.M.; Sing, S.L.; Bajpai, R.; Song, J.; Yeong, W.Y. 3D Direct Printing of Silicone Meniscus Implant Using a Novel Heat-Cured Extrusion-Based Printer. Polymers 2020, 12, 1031. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051031

AMA Style

Luis E, Pan HM, Sing SL, Bajpai R, Song J, Yeong WY. 3D Direct Printing of Silicone Meniscus Implant Using a Novel Heat-Cured Extrusion-Based Printer. Polymers. 2020; 12(5):1031. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051031

Chicago/Turabian Style

Luis, Eric; Pan, Houwen M.; Sing, Swee L.; Bajpai, Ram; Song, Juha; Yeong, Wai Y. 2020. "3D Direct Printing of Silicone Meniscus Implant Using a Novel Heat-Cured Extrusion-Based Printer" Polymers 12, no. 5: 1031. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051031

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