Metal powder materials for 3D printing include titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, bronze alloys, nickel alloys, etc. Titanium alloy powders are the most important link in the 3D printing industry chain of metal parts, and also the greatest value. The electrode induction gas atomization method is one of the main methods for industrially producing titanium alloy powder in the world at present, and is also the only method for domestically industrial production of spherical titanium alloy powder for 3D laser printing.

Recently, the Additive Manufacturing Project Team of the Titanium Metal Technology Research Institute of Pangang Research Institute completed the construction of the argon station and the matching debugging of the atomization equipment. This marks that the institute has made staged progress in the research of spherical titanium alloy powder preparation technology for 3D printing, which has laid the foundation for the industrial production of spherical titanium and titanium alloy powder. The basic principle of gas atomization is the process of breaking a liquid metal stream into small droplets and solidifying into a powder with high-speed air flow. The prepared powder has the advantages of high purity, low oxygen content, controllable powder particle size, low production cost and high sphericity.

In 2015, the Institute of Titanium Technology of Pangang Research Institute began preparations for the construction of a spherical titanium and titanium alloy powder preparation platform for 3D printing; in 2016, the basic support and installation of the gas atomization equipment were completed; The atomization equipment was initially reformed, and the process of gas atomization to prepare spherical titanium and titanium alloy powder was opened, and qualified products with stable quality were obtained. The overall technology and product quality reached the international advanced level; in 2018, spherical titanium for laser printing A breakthrough was made in the preparation of alloy powder.

In 2019, Mr. Li was diagnosed with right lower gingival cell carcinoma at the Stomatological Hospital of Wuhan University and immediately underwent partial right mandibular resection. After the operation, the old man recovered better. However, due to the collapse of his right face and long-term lack of teeth, he was unable to chew normally, which seriously affected his eating. A year and a half later, the old man was accompanied by his son to Wuhan University Stomatological Hospital, hoping that the doctor could repair the defect of his right mandible. Professor Jia Jun, deputy director of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Head and Neck Cancer Surgery, said that taking into account Mr. Li’s age and physical tolerance, such as autologous bone transplantation, the surgical trauma is larger, the recovery rate in the later period is slower, and the overall cost of the operation is relatively high . Therefore, Jia Jun introduced Mr. Li’s national key R & D project “3D printing titanium alloy technology” that his team participated in, which could repair the right mandible. Mr. Li and his family agreed. On April 22, the 3D printed titanium alloy “mandible” that passed all aspects of shape, structure, and mechanical strength was transplanted to Mr. Li’s right mandible defect, and the operation took only two hours. Mr. Li recovered well after surgery and was discharged from hospital on April 30. Jia Jun introduced that titanium alloy materials have good biocompatibility, and can be kept in the body for a long time without rejection by the human body. This material is often used in hip replacements, vertebral body replacements and dental implants. In this way, the operation time is greatly shortened, and a more precise and personalized design can be performed for the patient to reduce the pain. Can the patient return to normal function and appearance before surgery?

Jia Jun said that repairing the patient’s mandibular defect is the first step, so that the patient can be symmetrical in shape, and allow the teeth on the non-lesion side to achieve normal occlusion. Later, dentures will be installed on the implanted titanium alloy “mandible” to restore normal occlusion.