INTRODUCING COMPUTER AIDED TECHNIQUES FOR MANUFACTURING PROSTHETIC DEVICES INTO THE CURRICULUM OF MANUFACTURING ENGINEERS
"Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Bio-engineering is a rather new branch of engineering sciences and benefits lately of the new computer aided engineering techniques. The process of manufacturing medical devices is one of the objectives of bio-engineering, due the importance of them for the people’s health and quality of life.
Prosthetic devices are a special class within medical devices and their manufacturing process involves the use of the most advanced computer aided techniques, such as computer aided design (CAD), computer aided engineering (CAE), computer aided manufacturing (CAM).
However, either mechanical or manufacturing engineering study programmes did not include special courses of manufacturing prosthetic devices. Most of the manufacturing courses and/or CAD/CAE/CAM courses, either at under-graduate or post-graduate level are oriented to specific industrial domains such as machine-building, automotive (car-building), ship-building or aircraft industry.
Another special problem raised by manufacturing prosthetic devices is the bio-compatibility, because they have to work in close contact with live tissues, so the mechanical and/or the manufacturing engineer has to be able to select bio-compatible materials as workpieces. Also, the bio-compatibility of the prosthetic device has to preserved during the entire manufacturing cycle.
There are at national level (in Romania) and European level some universities which developed bio-engineering or medical-engineering study programmes, but only a few. In the opinion of the authors of this paper, the solution is not to develop special study programmes, but to introduce special chapters or even special courses dedicated to manufacturing medical devices in the curriculum of general purpose mechanical and/or manufacturing engineering programs.
In the paper some particularities regarding the use of CAD/CAE/CAM techniques in manufacturing prosthetic devices and regarding the study and selection of bio-compatible materials are presented. Finally, some proposals of chapters and courses to be introduced within the engineering curriculum, together with the main challenges raised by that and how to address them are discussed, based on the experience of the authors at “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu.
Keywords: Computer adided techniques, prosthetic devices, manufacturing.