University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Central fabrication: carved positive assessment


Sanders JE, Severance MR, Myers TR, Ciol MA



Publication Info:

Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 35(1):81-90


BACKGROUND: It is estimated that only 24% of practitioners use CAD/CAM regularly. Socket manufacturing error may be a source of the limited use of central fabrication.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in shape between computer-manufactured, centrally fabricated carved models and electronic file shapes, to determine if carving was a major source of socket manufacturing error in central fabrication. Study design: Experimental, mechanical assessment.
METHODS: Three different trans-tibial model shapes were sent electronically to each of 10 central fabrication facilities for the fabrication of positive foam models. A custom mechanical digitizer and alignment algorithm were used to measure the model shapes and then compare them with the electronic file shapes.
RESULTS: Volume differences between the models and the electronic file shapes ranged from -4.2% to 1.0%, and averaged -0.9?(SD?=?1.1)%. Mean radial error ranged from -1.2?mm to 0.3?mm and averaged -0.3?(SD?=?0.3)?mm. Inter-quartile range was between 0.3?mm and 2.7?mm and averaged 0.6?(SD?=?0.5)?mm. The models were significantly smaller than sockets made from the same electronic file shapes (p? CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrated that there was considerable variability in model quality among central fabricators in the industry, and that carving was not the sole source of socket fabrication error.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The results provide insight into the severity and nature of carving error by central fabrication facilities. Because we found a wide range of model quality, there is not a consistent fabrication problem across the industry, but instead some central fabrication facilities practice the art of model fabrication better than others.

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