Radiological Evaluation of the Effects of Printing Parameters on 3D Printed Cylindrical LW-PLA Samples: Preliminary Results

Özsoykal İ., Hüsemoğlu R. B., Yurt A.

Journal of Medical Innovation and Technology, vol.3, no.2, pp.28-34, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Purpose: In this study, it is aimed to evaluate the radiological tissue equivalency of different 3D printed samples obtained at different printing temperatures, flow rates and infill rates. Materials and Methods: Ultimaker 3 Extended 3D printer and LW-PLA filament were used witin the scope of this study. A total of 18 cylinders were printed by using 3 different printing temperatures of 195°C, 200oC and 205oC, 3 different flow rates of 60%, 80% and 100%, and 2 different infilling rates of 90% and 100%. Each sample is obtained 1 cm in diameter and 3 cm in height. After calculating the densities of the samples, they were imaged by a Philips Brilliance 128-slice computed tomography scanner. In the images, the average Hounsfield Unit values and the standard deviations of these values were recorded at 5 different axial positions for each sample. The mean HU and standard deviation values recorded over 5 slices were evaluated according to the printing parameters. Results: Density of the samples are obtained between 0.63 g/cm3 and 1.19 g/cm3. It was observed that the density of the samples were directly proportional to the flow rate and the infill rate. In addition, the average Hounsfield Unit values of the samples varied between -450 and +73. On the other hand, the standard deviation values were recorded between ±6 and ±25. It was observed that the mean Hounsfield Unit values increased with increasing temperature, flow rate and infill rate. The standard deviation values decreased with increasing printing temperatures. Conclusion: Considering the mean Hounsfield Unit values of different tissues imaged in routine computed tomography examinations, it is concluded that the samples obtained at different printing parameters using LW-PLA filament may have radiological properties that can represent many soft tissues.