SELECTIVE LASER MELTING TECHNOLOGY AND INDIVIDUAL TI-6AL-4V IMPLANTS

Abstract

This paper deals with the use of additive manufacturing from Ti-6Al-4V metal powder in the field of individual implants. Additive technologies such as Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) enable the manufacturers to design the implants precisely with respect to the actual anatomy of each patient. In this paper, two major properties of the printed parts are studied. In the first part, monotonic mechanical properties of the material in as-built and heat treated condition are evaluated. In the second part of the work, shape accuracy is evaluated on the model of the individual cranial implant. For this study, the cranial implant was once built as a fully dense part and once using a lightweight structure. Both parts were submitted to optical 3D scanning to evaluate the nominal deflections from the CAD model. Uniaxial tests show full usability of additively manufactured Ti-6Al-4V parts. Basic material constants are comparable to those evaluated on conventional bulk material. Apart from shortening the build time, lightweight structures also significantly reduce deflections of the model.

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