Patient-Specific Implant Customization for Treatment of Internal Orbital Fractures Using Office-Based Three-Dimensional Printing

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The Journal of craniofacial surgery




OBJECTIVE: Three-dimensional (3D) modeling technology aids the reconstructive surgeon in designing and tailoring individualized implants for the reconstruction of complex craniofacial fractures. Three-dimensional modeling and printing have traditionally been outsourced to commercial vendors but can now be incorporated into both private and academic craniomaxillofacial practices. The goal of this report is to present a low-cost, standardized office-based workflow for restoring bony orbital volume in traumatic orbital fractures. METHODS: Patients with internal orbital fractures requiring open repair were identified. After the virtual 3D models were created by iPlan 3.0 Cranial CMF software (Brainlab), the models were printed using an office-based 3D printer to shape and modify orbital plates to correctly fit the fracture defect. The accuracy of the anatomic reduction and the restored bony orbital volume measurements were determined using postoperative computed tomography images and iPlan software. RESULTS: Nine patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria: 8 patients had unilateral fractures and 1 patient had bilateral fractures. Average image processing and print time were 1.5 hours and 3 hours, respectively. The cost of the 3D printer was $2500 and the average material cost to print a single orbital model was $2. When compared with the uninjured side, the mean preoperative orbital volume increase and percent difference were 2.7 ± 1.3 mL and 10.9 ± 5.3%, respectively. Postoperative absolute volume and percent volume difference between the orbits were -0.2 ± 0.4 mL and -0.8 ± 1.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Office-based 3D printing can be routinely used in the repair of internal orbital fractures in an efficient and cost-effective manner to design the implant with satisfactory patient outcomes.


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