Showcase AM Expo 2021

Surface finish of cranial implants

RENISHAW-skull implants get the right finish with a mass finishing system from RÖSLER. The proportion of manual rework was reduced from a total of five hours to less than one hour.

Renishaw’s Medical and Dental Division has created a solution to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to finish cranial implants using Rösler's readily available technology. Renishaw's 3D printed patient-specific implants; in particular, cranial plates are much lauded the CT scan-to-CAD software that was used to create them is award winning and they featured on the front cover of a 2016 edition of this very magazine. Much has been written about the CT scan-to-CAD step and how LPW's titanium powders were used in Renishaw's Additive Manufacutring (AM) machines to print these life-saving implants but little has been said about the exceptional quality of the surface finish.

It was Renishaw's job to create a repeatable and streamlined process to finish the cranial plates top both satin and highly polished finishes from the as-built condition.

With the new procedure a cranial plate undergoes only a small amount of manual operation to remove supports witnesses and slightly improve the surface using a carbide burr and flap wheel. It is then placed into the Rösler tumbling machine were it automatically goes through a three-step process to produce the impeccably smooth finish, reducing manual operating time to under an hour.