This is a high school CTS module created with the intent of combining the biology, digital design, and sports medicine curricula into a course where students need to design and print surgical bone replacements. The technology available at most high schools isn't capable of producing implant-worthy bones, so the focus is on the digital design, 3D printing, and connections to the medical field.
Here's the link to my website where you can find progress pictures, connections to the curricula, and the project design: https://2teacher4u.wordpress.com/high-school-cts-3d-printed-bone-replacements/
I made this femur model in Blender 2.74, although the model itself isn't that great, admittedly. I'm still new to using Blender's sculping tools, and I've made a few mistakes, including jacking up the polygon count way too much and crashing my computer in the process. I did some fixing, but eventually I'll get around to making a newer and better example print.
The full list of curricular connections and learning objectives can be accessed by the document provided. The major outcomes are:
- explain the basic anatomy and physiology of the skeletal system
- explain the basic anatomy and function of muscles and joint structures
- plan and produce solutions to 3-D design briefs
- incorporate the elements and principles of design to achieve the design solution
- produce and present a portfolio-ready drawing, image or rendering
- apply consistent and appropriate work station routines
- identify possible life roles related to the skills and content of this cluster
- F1-4.1 assess the strengths and weaknesses of computer simulations in relation to real-world problems
- develop an understanding of the nature of science and technology, the relationships between science and technology, and the social and environmental contexts of science and technology.
This is a specially-designed project-based Design course in the high school CTS stream. It draws on outcomes from the courses:
- HCS1050: Musculoskeletal System
- DES2045: 3-D DESIGN 2
- Biology 20, Biology 30
The core audience should be students in the CTS and Biology streams with endeavours towards careers in the digital design and/or medical fields.
Students should have access to and familiarity with high-end design software, such as Blender or ZBrush, as well as a 3D printer.
- Submit an initial report having researched the medical process of surgical bone replacement, and 3D printing
- Design and print three (3) bone replacements with the aim of surgical bone replacement
- Submit a final report detailing the processes that they used and the difficulties they encountered.
All of these are gone into greater detail in the document provided.
The femur model that I sculpted can be used as an example to students (you can see the original model that I used as a reference beside it as a comparison), but I also know that there are plenty of other bone models here on Thingiverse that can be used to that end as well. I'd recommend that any teacher that wants to use this activity try their hand at making their own model first though.
The final result of the project are three (3) printed bone designs that each match one of the following:
- A segment of a large bone
- An entire small bone
- A skeletal joint
Students are also required to finish and submit an initial and final report. The details for these and a rubric for grading criteria are included in the pdf document on this page.