The paper outlines the achievements and challenges in the additive manufacturing (AM) application to veterinary practice. The state-of-the-art in AM application to the veterinary surgery is presented, with the focus of AM for patient-specific implants manufacturing. It also provides critical discussion on some of the potential issues design and technology should overcome for wider and more effective implementation of additively manufactured parts in veterinary practices. Most of the discussions in present paper are related to the metallic implants, manufactured in this case using so-called powder bed additive manufacturing (PB-AM) in titanium alloy Ti–6AL–4V, and to the corresponding process of their design, manufacturing and implementation in veterinary surgery. Procedures of the implant design and individualization for veterinary surgery are illustrated basing on the four performed surgery cases with dog patients. Results of the replacement surgery in dogs indicate that individualized additively manufactured metallic implants significantly increase chances for successful recovery process, and AM techniques present a viable alternative to amputation in a large number of veterinary cases. The same time overcoming challenges of implant individualization in veterinary practice significantly contributes to the knowledge directly relevant to the modern medical practice. An experience from veterinary cases where organ-preserving surgery with 3D-printed patient-specific implants is performed provides a unique opportunity for future development of better human implants.
- Additive manufacturing
- Clinical cases
- Veterinary applications of 3D printing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering