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Rapid prototyping techniques developed in the manufacturing industry are finding new applications in surgery. This article examines various rapid prototyping techniques, such as stereolithography, laminated object manufacturing and selective laser sintering, with reference to their use in reconstructive facial surgery. An example is presented of a company which manufactures titanium implants and prostheses. In conclusion, the problems associated with obtaining acceptance from the medical profession for these innovative techniques is discussed.
Date of Publication: July 2004