Imaging and digital design for medical applications of additive manufacturing

Eero Huotilainen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Since their inception in the late 80s, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have contributed largely in the paradigm change of production engineering. A focal area where these processes offer exceptional contemporary applications and future potential is the medical milieu; low production volumes, high degree of customization, and complexity of required shapes are strong drivers leading towards digital fabrication. Medical applications of additive manufacturing are classified to span five distinct categories: medical models, external prostheses and guides, surgical tools, inert implants, and biomanufacturing. The primary aim for this dissertation is to develop the five-step process for medical applications of AM: medical imaging, digital design, fabrication, post-processing, and clinical application. In the center of a successful clinical AM application lies the digital design phase. The results of this dissertation present optimization framework for medical imaging in order to ensure quality of source material for the designs. Subsequently, the design step is enhanced by developing and presenting practical and computational methods for design automation and conversion techniques into efficient clinical applications. The research focusing on the critical steps of the process is complemented with a holistic view on the complete process. Apart from the technical solutions offered, the collaborative needs, and information and communication flows within the process are essential for successful medical application of additive manufacturing. Critical future research topics required in the research area include novel material and software development as well as more efficient utilization of existing technologies.
Translated title of the contributionKuvantaminen ja digitaalinen suunnittelu ainetta lisäävän valmistuksen lääketieteellisiin sovelluksiin
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Koskelainen, Ari, Supervising Professor
  • Partanen, Jouni, Supervising Professor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-8363-6
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-8364-3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing
  • medical imaging


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