In December 2017, INSTOK AUDIO, a large medical manufacturer, largely known for its superior, custom-made hearing aids, purchased their first Drake Mini scanner from Thor3D. The company wanted to harness the power of 3D scanning to create more realistic face-prosthetics (i.e. ears, eyes, chins, noses) in their Protez-Studio subsidiary.
The Drake Mini scanner can be used to scan parts of the human face (ears, noses, eyes, etc). For these items, the average scanning time is just 5 minutes, with post-processing time requirements of 15 to 20 minutes. The Thor3D Suite is used in combination with Blender and Meshmixer.
In this specific case, the 3D scanned eye was reproduced by 3D printing it in stereolithography using a 3DSLA 3D printer and Oy vsyo, RED photopolymer resin (which roughly translates to “Oh, that’s it – RED”).
“Our company also owns a Rapidshape and Envisiontec printers, and those can also be used for the printing of the mold, but their higher quality and price of materials is not necessary for this application,” said Sergey Gladchenko, Head of the Production department at Protez-Studio.
The process for learning to use the scanner and software required only 4-5 tries to feel comfortable with it. A technician scanned the patient’s affected part of the face. He then post-processes the scan in the Thor3D Suite and exports it to Blender and Meshmixer software to develop the custom prosthetic.
“The most useful aspect of using the Drake Mini scanner was the significant reduction in time when scanning our youngest clients,” Gladchenko confirmed. “Working with children was always rewarding, but now is also simple because scanning is quick and even if the patient moves during the process, the software can correct for that.”
The image is cropped, mirrored and the final product is drawn in 3D. The model is then made into a mold on the stereolithographic 3D printer from 3DSLA. Once the prosthetic is ready, it is fitted on the patient to make sure it is comfortable.