3D Modelling of Facial Skin Surface for 3D Printing. Emma Ekberg.

Date: December 2017.
Source: Master’s Thesis 2017:EX056, CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY.
Abstract:One of the major global health problems today is burns, with an estimate of 256000 deaths each year caused by fires [1]. For more severe burns the probability of infections increases and here the golden standard is to use autologous skin grafts.

However, the dressing covering the skin grafts has a problem the taking of the graft when it comes to convex surfaces. The solution is to create a patient specific dressing that conforms to the surface by creating a 3D model of the wounded area of the patient, which then can be 3D printed.

The aim of this project is to analyze the process of converting images of facial skin surfaces into a 3D model using both active and passive scanning techniques. The project also analyses what is required for the model to be 3D printed, with the aim of a patient specific dressing.

The different scanning techniques that have been used are: a digital camera, an advanced image based 3D camera and a 3D scanner. The model obtained from the 3D scanner was used as a ground truth. The acquired data was then reconstructed into a 3D model using available softwares. The model was also 3D printed using different kinds of printers with two kinds of materials: plastic and hydrogel.

The advanced 3D camera gave accurate models which was suitable for imaging patients that moves. The imaged based method using a digital camera can, under right conditions, be a sufficient method for 3D modelling smooth, convex surfaces.

It was also possible to 3D print a convex surface using both plastic and hydrogel, where the shape was maintained overall except for some collapsing when printing with the hydrogel.

The project shows that a patient specific dressing may be a possibility in the future.

However, the problem is not to obtain a accurate 3D model of the patient, but to maintain this accuracy when 3D printing with different materials. In the future, the ideal scenario is to 3D scan a patient and then directly 3D print a dressign, which will fulfill the entire need of the wound of the patient.

Article: 3D Modelling of Facial Skin Surface for 3D Printing.
Author: Emma Ekberg, Department of Electrical Engineering, Division of Signal Processing and Biomedical Engineering, CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, Gothenburg, Sweden 2017.