New depowdering-friendly designs for three-dimensional printing of calcium phosphate bone substitutes

A. Butscher, M. Bohner, N. Doebelin, S. Hofmann, R. Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)
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Powder-based three-dimensional printing (3DP) is a versatile method that allows creating synthetic cal- cium phosphate (CaP) scaffolds of complex shapes and structures. However, one major drawback is the difficulty of removing all remnants of loose powder from the printed scaffolds, the so-called depowdering step. In this study, a new design approach was proposed to solve this problem. Specifically, the design of the printed scaffolds consisted of a cage with windows large enough to enable depowdering while still trapping loose fillers placed inside the cage. To demonstrate the potential of this new approach, two filler geometries were used: sandglass and cheese segment. The distance between the fillers was varied and they were either glued to the cage or free to move after successful depowdering. Depowdering efficiency was quantified by microstructural morphometry. The results showed that the use of mobile fillers signif- icantly improved depowdering. Based on this study, large 3DP scaffolds can be realized, which might be a step towards a broader clinical use of 3D printed CaP scaffolds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9149-9158
Number of pages9
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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