Q: What scan data do you accept/prefer?
A: We can work with various formats but prefer dicom files (*.dcm)
Q: What scan settings are best to get good models?
A: While this will vary depending on the anatomy of interest, in general the more detail the better. For foot bones in plane resolution (pixel spacing) of about 0.5mm/pixel or better is preferred. Ideally out of plane (slice spacing) should be at a similar level. For larger anatomy such as the hip or sholder 1-2mm/pixel will still give plenty of detail.
Q: How can I give you the files?
A: It is best to make sure the files are anonymized first before transferring them to anyone since they can contain Patient Identifier Data (PID) such as name, birthday, social security number etc… Most scans will be too large to e-mail so we have a server available, contact us for information.
Q: Which kind of scan is best?
A: This depends on the anatomy of interest. A CT scan shows minerals best so for bone anatomy it is by far the best. For soft tissue such as organs and the like MRI is best as it detects the hydrogen molecules of the tissues.
Q: What software do you use for mechanical design?
A: We use alibre (geomagic) for most mechanical parts/assemblies.
Q: What CAD file formats do you work with?
A: If you have a project you want us to work from STEP is preferred but we can work with a variety of types.
Q: What part size can you print?
A: Our current largest printer is a RoStockFAZZ delta printer which has a build diameter of 13.75″ (350mm) and a height of 35.5″(900mm)
Q: What resolution can you print at?
A: The smallest printer gives the best print quality but is limited in part size. Various factors are involved but in general 100micron layer height with similar in plane accuracy is a good starting point.
Q: What file types can you work with?
A: There are quite a variety of file types that can be converted to the standard STL format which is printed from.
Q: What material do you recommend using?
A: This depends on the application: PolyLactic Acid (PLA) is a stiff and brittle material made from biopolymers making it a good environmental choice. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a more ductile plastic so will allow for more flexing than PLA but is made from petroleum so it is not as environmentally friendly and often doesn’t work for larger parts due to material warping. T-glass (PETT) is a clear plastic and has some give to it. HIPS and PVA are both dissolvable support materials. Nylon has high strength while being relatively soft and flexible, gives a low friction surface. We currently offer PLA, ABS, PETT, HIPS, Nylon but can try other materials as needed. Be aware not all parts will be able be made from all materials.