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New Tricks for Old Dogs: Veterinary Surgical Hip Replacement

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 10:37am
GKS Services

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All in all, 27 parts were sent in to GKS for scanning. GKS engineers scanned all the parts, including the surgical instruments, tools, and implants, on Laser Design’s Surveyor ZS-Series system with a high-accuracy SLP 250 laser probe. A few simple shapes were also measured using hand calipers.With an eye to its teaching mission and updated methods, one company wanted to create a comprehensive training video for its hip replacement surgery procedure. In the past, they had relied on hard copy manuals and PowerPoint presentations to train veterinary surgeons on its products. Having a 3D video animation of the hip replacement procedure would grant trainees new fluency and confidence with the product.

However, since the Universal Hip product kit was largely developed in the 1990s, only 2D drawings were in existence. The company did not possess any 3D models of the parts and assemblies. To create an accurate representation of the surgery for the animation, and also to be up-to-date with current manufacturing standards, the company owner realized he needed 3D models of all the parts involved in the procedure.

Another important use of the 3D video was as an educational tool to clearly show pet owners the details of what would be done to their pets during surgery, while avoiding the aversion some people have to seeing blood and live tissue.

Looking for an experienced 3D scanning partner, the company found GKS Services Corp. via an Internet search. The owner was able to view sample files and data results online; he knew this was exactly what the company needed to make a true-to-life video of the surgical procedure.

All in all, 27 parts were sent in to GKS for scanning. GKS engineers scanned all the parts, including the surgical instruments, tools, and implants, on Laser Design’s Surveyor ZS-Series system with a high-accuracy SLP 250 laser probe. A few simple shapes were also measured using hand calipers.

The Laser Design Surveryor ZS laser scanning system projects a line of laser light onto all of the parts’ surfaces. While automated electromechanical components move the laser probe around the part, cameras continuously triangulate the changing distance and profile of the laser line as it sweeps along. Non-contact scanning means that the problem of missing data on a complex free-form surface is greatly reduced. The system measures fine details so that the object can be exactly replicated digitally. Laser scanners measure articles quickly, picking up to 75,000 coordinate points per second, and generate huge numbers of data points without the need for special templates or fixtures.

Laser Design’s proprietary scan data acquisition software (Surveyor Scan Control) digitally placed the triangulated points from the laser probe with the feedback of the positional encoders on each of the axes of motion to generate a highly accurate point cloud of the part surfaces. After initial data collection of each part, GKS used Geomagic Studio software to align, refine, and merge all layers of the point clouds for complete 360 degree point cloud generation of each part. Once the point cloud data was finalized, it was used as reference for measurement, direct surfacing, and quality audit; the parametric models of each part were created in SolidWorks. When individually scanned pieces were part of an assembly, GKS engineers assembled them in the digital CAD models. Total turnaround time from receipt of the parts to delivered models was a little over one week.

Using touch measurement technologies to capture so many free-form components and curved irregular details would have taken much longer and produced a much less complete data set. Without non-contact laser scanning, this type of exact true-to-life shape replication would be virtually impossible.

Once the CAD models were delivered, the company used the output to create the animation of the surgery by creating the storyline and tag items. An animator rendered the individual and assembled items with color and texture so they looked like the real thing.

The customer was very happy with results. “I have had plenty of experience in my 22 years in the business dealing with other service providers,” said the owner. “GKS was a very professional group. My GKS account manager was very concise; he asked the right questions and explained the process well. I felt confident that he thoroughly understood the project. We went into it with clear, streamlined procedures.”

The resulting training video has been in use for several months already. The company’s advisors and teachers who present the content all have copies of the animation. Plus the company now has documentation of their products, the kind of 3D digital documentation that is required by machine shops and manufacturers today. The CAD files are accurate enough to use for engineering and design purposes in the future should the need arise.

The owner concluded, “I would not hesitate to use GKS again. I am extremely pleased with the outcomes and results.”

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