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  • Author or Editor: Jamie A. Cone x
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OBJECTIVE To assess the repeatability and accuracy of polymer replicas of small, medium, and large long bones of small animals fabricated by use of 2 low-end and 2 high-end 3-D printers.

SAMPLE Polymer replicas of a cat femur, dog radius, and dog tibia were fabricated in triplicate by use of each of four 3-D printing methods.

PROCEDURES 3-D renderings of the 3 bones reconstructed from CT images were prepared, and length, width of the proximal aspect, and width of the distal aspect of each CT image were measured in triplicate. Polymer replicas were fabricated by use of a high-end system that relied on jetting of curable liquid photopolymer, a high-end system that relied on polymer extrusion, a triple-nozzle polymer extrusion low-end system, and a dual-nozzle polymer extrusion low-end system. Polymer replicas were scanned by use of a laser-based coordinate measurement machine. Length, width of the proximal aspect, and width of the distal aspect of the scans of replicas were measured and compared with measurements for the 3-D renderings.

RESULTS 129 measurements were collected for 34 replicas (fabrication of 1 large long-bone replica was unsuccessful on each of the 2 low-end printers). Replicas were highly repeatable for all 3-D printers. The 3-D printers overestimated dimensions of large replicas by approximately 1%.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Low-end and high-end 3-D printers fabricated CT-derived replicas of bones of small animals with high repeatability. Replicas were slightly larger than the original bones.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research