Clinical experience in the use of 3D printing as a rapid replacement of traditional radiation therapy immobilization materials

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Purpose: Patient positioning and immobilization devices are commonly employed in radiation therapy. Unfortunately, cases can arise where the devices need to be reconstructed or improved. This work describes clinical processes to use a planning CT, to design and 3D print immobilization devices for reproducible patient positioning within a clinically feasible time frame when traditional methods can no longer be used or are insufficient. Materials/Methods: Three clinical cases required rapid 3D printing of an immobilization device mid-treatment due to the following: (1) a lost headrest cushion, (2) needed improvement in lumbar spine positioning, and (3) a partially deflated vacuum immobilization mattress. Results: In the three cases, the 3D printed immobilization devices were clinically implemented successfully; two of the devices were fully designed and printed in 1 day. The 3D printed immobilization devices achieved a positioning accuracy sufficient to avoid the necessity to repeat the simulation and planning process. Conclusion: If traditional immobilization devices fail or are misplaced, it is feasible to have a 3D printed replacement within the time span of 1 day. The design and fabrication methods, as well as the experiences gained, are described in detail to assist clinicians to implement 3D printing for similar situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14008
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics published by Wiley Periodicals, LLC on behalf of The American Association of Physicists in Medicine.


  • 3D printing
  • IGRT
  • immobilization
  • radiotherapy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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