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3D Printed Acetabular Cups for Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Review Article

Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, University College London and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore HA7 4LP, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(7), 729;
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Failure Analysis of Biometals)
PDF [2663 KB, uploaded 3 July 2019]


Three-dimensional (3D) printed titanium orthopaedic implants have recently revolutionized the treatment of massive bone defects in the pelvis, and we are on the verge of a change from conventional to 3D printed manufacture for the mass production of millions of off-the-shelf (non-personalized) implants. The process of 3D printing has many adjustable variables, which taken together with the possible variation in designs that can be printed, has created even more possible variables in the final product that must be understood if we are to predict the performance and safety of 3D printed implants. We critically reviewed the clinical use of 3D printing in orthopaedics, focusing on cementless acetabular components used in total hip arthroplasty. We defined the clinical and engineering rationale of 3D printed acetabular cups, summarized the key variables involved in the manufacturing process that influence the properties of the final parts, together with the main limitations of this technology, and created a classification according to end-use application to help explain the controversial and topical issues. Whilst early clinical outcomes related to 3D printed cups have been promising, in-depth robust investigations are needed, partly because regulatory approval systems have not fully adapted to the change in technology. Analysis of both pristine and retrieved cups, together with long-term clinical outcomes, will help the transition to 3D printing to be managed safely. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; orthopaedic implants; total hip arthroplasty; acetabular cups 3D printing; additive manufacturing; orthopaedic implants; total hip arthroplasty; acetabular cups

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Dall’Ava, L.; Hothi, H.; Di Laura, A.; Henckel, J.; Hart, A. 3D Printed Acetabular Cups for Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Review Article. Metals 2019, 9, 729.

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