Development of Cranial Bone Surrogate Structures Using Stereolithographic Additive Manufacturing

Report No. ARL-TR-8163
Authors: Jared M Gardner; Thomas A Plaisted
Date/Pages: September 2017; 26 pages
Abstract: We report on the use of stereolithographic (SLA) additive manufacturing to create surrogate structures to mimic the layered construction and porous internal structure of the human cranium. Surrogate structures were designed to replicate the solid volume and thickness of the diploë and inner and outer tables typical of human cranial bones. Pore structures in the diploë region were created based upon a repeating unit cell, whereby the pore diameter and pore wall thickness were tuned to reproduce the target level of porosity, while remaining within dimensions that could be reasonably reproduced using the SLA process. Three candidate pore structures were fabricated using a low modulus, transparent material that was chosen for to aid in the development and evaluation of the primary fabrication and postprocessing conditions. When tested in flexure, the surrogate structures exhibited a range of responses in terms of beam stiffness and failure characteristics that resembled failure modes observed in similar beam testing of cranial bone.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2017