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Volume 16 , Issue 5
September/October 2003

Pages 543548

Integration of Laser Surface Digitizing with CAD/CAM Techniques for Developing Facial Prostheses. Part 2: Development of Molding Techniques for Casting Prosthetic Parts

Chi-Mun Cheah, PhD/Chee-Kai Chua, PhD/Kwang-Hui Tan, BEng

PMID: 14651243

Purpose: This article presents a novel manufacturing approach that integrates laser surface digitizing/scanning and computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to achieve automated fabrication of spatially and anatomically accurate extraoral facial prostheses. Materials and Methods: Contrary to the approach in part 1 for fabricating positive replicas of prostheses, the approaches presented here are focused on designing and producing negative molds of the final prostheses using CAD, rapid prototyping, and rapid tooling techniques. The molds were applied directly to cast the final prostheses, thereby eliminating conventional flasking and investing procedures. Results: Three different facial prostheses were produced to evaluate the proposed approach for prosthesis production. The advantages of this alternative manufacturing approach over the approach presented in part 1 and conventional techniques are discussed. The limitations encountered with the integrated manufacturing system are highlighted. Conclusion: With the new techniques, reduced patient discomfort, minimal dependence on the artistic skills of the prosthetist, and short turnaround times for prosthesis production can be expected. Int J Prosthodont 2003;16:543548.

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