So 3D printing will cure children with severe facial burns

A pilot project of the "Romans Ferrari" Institute of Lyon and the Venetian 3DZ involves the creation of pain-proof face masks

The innovative 3D face masks for children's burns
The innovative 3D face masks for burns of children from the "Romans Ferrari" Institute in Lyon and the Venetian company 3DZ replace the painful plaster casts of the face

3D printing in the service of medicine to treat severe facial burns in children. An innovation that is finally possible in reality as well as at the service of the little ones to avoid excruciating pain through unprecedented facial masks.
This is a pilot project conducted by the "Romans Ferrari" pediatric rehabilitation center in Lyon in France, in collaboration with 3DZ, a distribution company of three-dimensional printers with headquarters in Italy in Castelfranco Veneto (Treviso) and other offices and factories branch offices in Alessandria, Brescia, Arezzo and Rome, as well as three foreign branches.

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A child who suffered burns to his face in Mongolia, for whom Global Giving raised funds on the Internet (Photo: globalgiving.org)
A child who suffered burns to his face in Mongolia, for whom Global Giving raised funds on the Internet
(Photo: globalgiving.org)

Facial orthotics made to measure for the little ones through scanners

Through three-dimensional printing, unprecedented facial orthoses have been created, masks capable of helping children in the treatment of face burns.
These are custom-made orthoses, using a 3D scanner capable of obtaining a perfect reproduction of the patient's face down to the smallest detail.
Starting from this drawing, the masks to be applied on the patients' faces were created with the three-dimensional printer.
All without being invasive on children already victims of trauma and increasing the precision of the facial prosthesis, designed by perfectly tracing the boy's face.
Children with facial burns are treated with the application of customized plates on the face itself, in practice masks.

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The innovative 3D face masks for children's burns
The innovative 3D face masks for burns of children from the "Romans Ferrari" Institute in Lyon and the Venetian company 3DZ replace the painful plaster casts of the face

Massage the injured area for better healing and healing

Silicone devices are added inside that perform a massage on the burned area and allow for better healing and faster healing, especially on the grafted skin.
In order to create the facial orthosis (ie the plate to be applied to the face) it is necessary to take the impression of the face, with which to then be able to create a mask, a perfect and compliant replica of the child's face.
To reproduce a face exactly, the traditional method consists in modeling the face with plaster strips applied directly to the skin.
A painful and annoying process, which puts a strain on already weakened skin: the child suffers a second trauma.

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A child who suffered burns to his face in Mongolia, for whom Global Giving raised funds on the Internet (Photo: globalgiving.org)
A child who suffered burns to his face in Mongolia, for whom Global Giving raised funds on the Internet
(Photo: globalgiving.org)

The students of the Ecole Centrale de Lyon were also involved and questioned

This is how the “Romans Ferrari” centre, a pediatric re-education facility which has been dealing with severely burned, brain-damaged and polytraumatized children for many years, questioned and involved the students of the Ecole Centrale de Lyon and the French branch of 3DZ.
We have therefore come to devise an alternative process for making orthoses to be applied to the face. Instead of a plaster cast, a three-dimensional scan of the face is done.
The prosthesis is then created starting from the scan through a three-dimensional printer. All without even touching the patient's face, therefore in a non-invasive and at the same time more precise way.
The Artec 3D Eva scanner was used for the scan. With this scanner, the operator performs a three-dimensional scan of the child's face, a high-precision three-dimensional photograph.
But without touching the child's face. The scanned file is processed in Geomagic Freeform software to create the correct mask shape.
The positive mask is then printed using the Formlabs Fuse 3 1D printer: the result is a precise, accurate and personalized reproduction of the patient's face.

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The innovative 3D face masks for children's burns
The innovative 3D face masks for burns of children from the "Romans Ferrari" Institute in Lyon and the Venetian company 3DZ replace the painful plaster casts of the face

The experiments in the first months of 2022, and with general satisfaction

The pilot project was completed in the first months of 2022 with excellent results, appreciated by medical staff and patients.
It is a new system that the French medical center has therefore decided to use instead of the old method with the plaster cast.
“For several years we have dreamed of being able to make the mold for treatments without having the patient undergo direct contact with the burned skin”, says Christophe Debat, director of the Romans Ferrari Center.

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The headquarters of the Center de Rééducation Pédiatrique "Romans Ferrari" in Lyon, France

The headquarters of the Center de Rééducation Pédiatrique “Romans Ferrari” in Lyon, France

Patrick Ferraris: "Digitization replaces plaster casting"

The collaboration between 3DZ and "Romans Ferrari" was also awarded at the Global Industrie fair, the most important French event for the industrial sector.
“We realize that this world is changing”, explains Patrick Ferraris, director of 3DZ France. “Seeing what we are able to curate and invent with what we have developed in the complete 3D production chain is simply magical.”
And yet: “In this project, innovation is at the service of patient well-being. The application created by 'Romans Ferrari' is a human project that cares about the future health of these children. Digitization replaces plaster casting and modeling replaces manual milling of massage devices. The advantages of 3D scanning and printing technology in this case are both for the patients and for the hospital".

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A child who suffered burns to his face in Mongolia, for whom Global Giving raised funds on the Internet (Photo: globalgiving.org)
A child who suffered burns to his face in Mongolia, for whom Global Giving raised funds on the Internet
(Photo: globalgiving.org)

In the future, telemedicine, scanning faces and printing them remotely

The future evolution of the project lies in its adaptation to telemedicine: being able to scan a face and print it remotely to create a compression brace even when you are hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away.
The goal is to find the ideal shapes and model them in order to obtain scientific documentation and, in the long term, to be able to treat larger body parts.

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The three-dimensional printing expert workers of the 3DZ company of Castelfranco Veneto in the province of Treviso
The three-dimensional printing expert workers of the 3DZ company of Castelfranco Veneto in the province of Treviso

In Castelfranco a reality with 13 branches in Italy, Europe and the Middle East

Founded in 2011, the company specializes in consulting on the adoption of 3D printing in businesses and in the sale of the world's most prestigious brands of three-dimensional printers and scanners.
A reality that has reached a global dimension with the opening of 13 branches in Italy, Europe and the Middle East, capable of serving 2.700 customers with over 2.000 3D printers installed, as well as 3D scanners and software.
These are very technical products: for this reason the group, which today is based on a hundred employees, has as its flagship the professionalism of the 33 technicians specialized in the management of 3D printers operating in the territory and in the most varied sectors: industrial , mechanical, aerospace, automotive, cultural heritage, education, dental, medical and jewellery.
The headquarters is spread over two floors where the latest technologies in the field of 3D printers are hosted on 2.500 square meters, a sort of huge digital laboratory and showroom, where you can see the latest three-dimensional printers produced in the world at work, from those desktop-sized to those nearly the size of an automobile; and then exhibition spaces of manufactured pieces that make the showroom a sort of expo of novelties on all the miracles of additive manufacturing.
The 3DZ printers are 4.0 certified and the company offers a 4.0 digitization process, helping companies to introduce three-dimensional printing into their production and research and development processes.

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The innovative 3D face masks for children's burns
The innovative 3D face masks for burns of children from the "Romans Ferrari" Institute in Lyon and the Venetian company 3DZ replace the painful plaster casts of the face