3D scanning has become increasingly useful in the medical field as 3D scanners have the ability to capture 3D measurements of the human face and body relatively easily and quickly. Since each person is unique in their physical appearance, medical practitioners can use this information to create customize medical products for their patients. Medical applications that benefit from 3D scanning include, but not limited to:
Dental: Making braces, retainers, and mouth guards
Face: Making form-fitted face mask for treating burn victims
Hands: Making customized gloves for patients
Other Body Parts: Making prosthetics (ie. leg, back)
Here are some benefits of using 3D scanning technology for medical uses:
(Benefits related to white light 3D scanners such as the HDI 3D Scanners)
Ability to Capture 3D Measurements Quickly
3D scanners can capture a single scan in just a few seconds. They can obtain 3D measurements quickly which can be analyzed immediately with the patient. People also have a difficult time staying very still. Fast scanning speed prevents patients from moving during the 3D scanning process. White light scanners are also safe the eye for face scanning.
Scans Patient without Contact
Non-contact 3D scanners scan body parts directly without any contact with the patient to ensure there is no measurement interference. There are times when contact with the patient’s body is not permitted as in the case of burnt victims.
Consistent Results Time After Time
3D scanners can generate repeatable results even when used by different medical practitioners.
Easy to Operate with Basic Training
Medical practitioners can be trained relatively quickly on how to operate a 3D scanner for daily use.
Quicker Turnaround Time
Normally a patient's body measurements are normally derived from negative casts or impressions. These physical molds need to be transported from the clinic to laboratory. With 3D scanning, the entire process is done electronically so a patient’s measurements can be sent to different locations online.
A Case Study on Creating Customized Foot Orthotics with 3D Scanning
Traditionally, patients would visit a podiatrist and go through a long and intensive molding process to get a pair of plaster insoles made. Both patients and practitioners find that this can be a very time consuming and expensive process that often yields inaccurate results.
The Rx Group of Companies partnered with 3D3 Solutions to create a concrete clinical solution to foot casting that combines 3D scanning technology with advanced medical theory. The foot scanner uses 3D3 Solutions’ proprietary white-light 3D technology that scans the patient’s foot in seconds to create a digital reproduction in the form of a 3D model. Once the foot has been scanned, the attending practitioner is
able to view the foot scan in a number of desired casting positions, enter the corresponding orthotic prescription and instantly send the file to the laboratory for production.
This blog post was previously posted on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 on 3D3 Solutions blog. LMI Technologies acquired 3D3 Solutions on May 1, 2013.
Posted by Thomas Tong