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Customized UHMWPE tibial insert directly fabricated by selective laser sintering

Abstract

Customized processing and manufacturing is the main constraint in the application of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), especially in customized prosthetics, such as tibial inserts. In this study, the enabling of selective laser sintering (SLS) was explored to achieve direct fabrication of customized UHMWPE tibial insert. The mechanical properties and the dimensional accuracy of UHMWPE tibial inserts, fabricated by SLS method, were tested. The results showed that when the customized shape-controlled tibial insert was fabricated, its tensile strength increased from 14.1 to 24.1 MPa and the elongation increased from 5.4 to 390 % by a simple post-heat treatment. In the present paper, UHMWPE tibial insert could be made suitable for femoral component and tibial tray by enlarging the designed size by 10.5 % in the directions of X and Y and 6.5 % in the direction of Z. This study demonstrated that the new manufacturing capabilities for UHMWPE tibial insert will be developed further, which was motivated by the needs of customized manufacture.

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Correspondence to Yang Yongqiang or Yu Jia-kuo.

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Changhui, S., Aibing, H., Yongqiang, Y. et al. Customized UHMWPE tibial insert directly fabricated by selective laser sintering. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 85, 1217–1226 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-015-8046-6

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Keywords

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Selective laser sintering
  • UHMWPE
  • Tibial insert