Combining Optical Metrology and Additive Manufacturing for Efficient Manufacturing of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic Orthopedics: A Case Study
Often, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) manufacturing represents an expensive, time-consuming, small-scale production due to products and components characterized by complex geometric properties. In the field of orthopedic products individual molds, usually made of metal alloys or plaster, are necessary to shape the contour of the components. The presented case study focuses on individually manufactured masks for post-operative treatment of uncomplicated midfacial fractures that are frequent and typical injuries in popular contact sports like football or handball. To improve the costly process of CFRP production of individually manufactured masks, this paper describes the advantages of the combination of optical metrology (i.e. 3D-scanning) and additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D-printing). Therefore, the conventional process chain consisting of the main process steps molding (master pattern), casting (mold), CFRP laminating, curing, cutting and final assembly is replaced by 3D-scanning (instead of master pattern), followed by the revision of the CAD-model (to prevent cutting efforts), 3D-printing (mold), CFRP laminating, curing and final assembly. Summarizing, this case study on manufacturing of carbon fiber reinforced plastic orthopedics shows that the combination of innovative manufacturing technologies opens up new possibilities to increase efficiency in craft based manufacturing.
Jörg Franke, Sven Kreitlein, Gunther Reinhart, Christian Gebbe, Rolf Steinhilper and Johannes Böhner
J. Jahn et al., "Combining Optical Metrology and Additive Manufacturing for Efficient Manufacturing of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic Orthopedics: A Case Study", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 871, pp. 275-283, 2017