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3D Printed Tools for QA Testing in Radiography and Fluoroscopy and Evaluation of Attenuation Properties of Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA) Printer Filament

K Ogden*, K Morabito , P Depew , SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY


(Tuesday, 7/31/2018) 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Room: Exhibit Hall | Forum 8

Purpose: To create 3D printable tools that improve the efficiency of QA testing of radiographic and fluoroscopic units, and to evaluate the half value layer thickness of poly-lactic acid (PLA) filament at typical diagnostic x-ray beam energies.

Methods: Testing tools were designed using Blender, a free open-source software application ( Tools were designed for testing beam geometry (collimation and central ray alignment) and for holding testing phantom materials used for dosimetric and other evaluations.To evaluate the effect of having PLA testing tools in the x-ray beam, the attenuation characteristics of PLA were measured. HVL test articles were printed at 100% fill density and 5 mm nominal thickness and the areal density of the test articles was determined. Two different colors from a single manufacturer were evaluated. X-ray transmission was measured using a portable c-arm fluoroscopic unit (OEC 9900, GE Medical Systems, Waukesha WI) at nominal tube potentials from 50 to 120 kV in steps of 10 kV. Air kerma was measured using a Raysafe X2 R/F detector (Fluke Biomedical, Cleveland OH).

Results: The testing tools streamline and improve efficiency of the QA process. The half-value layers are reported in nominal thickness (mm) and areal density (g/cm²). For natural (uncolored) PLA, the HVL values ranged from 20.1 mm (2.37 g/cm²) at 50 kV to 27 mm (3.19 g/cm²) at 120 kV. For green PLA, the values ranged from 19 mm (2.35 g/cm²) at 50 kV to 25.7 mm (3.17 g/cm²) at 120 kV.

Conclusion: 3D printing offers a powerful method to produce custom tools that can improve efficiency in radiographic and fluoroscopic QA testing. When properly designed, 3D printed tools do not have a significant impact on x-ray beam measurements. Natural colored PLA is preferred due to its reduced attenuation when compared to the green PLA used in this study.


Not Applicable / None Entered.


IM- X-ray: Quality Control

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