So from speaking with a resident in orthopedics who was interested in looking at hip fractures I decided to try my hand a printing a hip. Being fairly large I figured this could be a good challenge for my printer since the foot bones I had printed were much smaller.
First I needed to find a good CT scan which included the midsection… after some searching I remembered that I had a scan of my own hips after a skiing accident. The fall was worst on my shoulder which was X-rayed to see if it was subluxed. It was fine according to the X-ray (though it didn’t feel fine…). During the fall I managed to bruise my abdomen and since the hospital wants to avoid any possible missed injuries I got a contrast CT scan of my abdomen. This scan covered my entire lumbar spine with a couple thoracic vertebrae the entire hip and the proximal end of my femurs. I also had a few ribs and my right hand which was on my stomach to help my shoulder. The scan has 0.835mm in plane and 1.6mm out of plane resolution. A bit course for trying to get my hand but the hip had plenty of detail.
So after doing some work to segregate out the bones I had a decent model ready try printing. I noticed a few issues with the model such as holes in the thin wall of the hip socket… but for my initial work I decided to deal with that later.
Also since these bones may be worked on with an surgeon I wanted to try out some different settings, PLA and ABS, thin wall and thick, rectangular or honeycomb infill. Their large size was also a pretty good test of running the printer for an extended period of time (one of the pelvic bones printed for more than a day!).