An Experimental Method for Stereolithic Mandible Fabrication and Image Preparation

Shawn Russetta, Paul Majora, Jason Carey*, b, Roger Toogoodc, Pierre Boulangerd
a Department of Orthodontics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada
b Department of Engineering, University of Alberta, 4-9 Mechanical Engineering Building, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G8, Canada
c Department of Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G8, Canada
d Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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2007 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Engineering, University of Alberta, 4-9 Mechanical Engineering Building, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G8, Canada; Tel: 780-492-7168; Fax: 780-492-2200; E-mail:


Reproduction of anatomical structures by rapid prototyping has proven to be a valid adjunct for craniofacial surgery, providing alternative methods to produce prostheses and development of surgical guides. The aim of this study was to introduce a methodology to fabricate asymmetric human mandibles by rapid prototyping to be used in future studies for evaluating mandibular symmetries. Stereolithic models of human mandibles were produced with varying amounts of asymmetry in the condylar neck, ramus and body of the mandible by means of rapid prototyping. A method for production of the synthetic mandibles was defined. Model preparation, landmark description and development of the experimental model were described. A series of synthetic mandibles ranging in asymmetry were accurately produced from a scanned human mandible. A method for creating the asymmetries, fabricating, coating and landmarking the synthetic mandibles was formulated. A description for designing a reproducible experimental model for image acquisition was also outlined. Production of synthetic mandibles by stereolithic modeling is a viable method for creating skeletal experimental models with known amounts of asymmetry.

Keywords: Biomedical engineering, Rapid prototyping, Image processing, Stereolithic mandible models..