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Optometric Applications for Three-dimensional Printing

A Technical Report from Low Vision Rehabilitation Practice

Hopkins, Gregory Robert, OD, MS, FAAO1*; Irvin, Brett C., OD, MS, FAAO2

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001349

SIGNIFICANCE Delivering personalized three-dimensional (3D)–printed solutions for our patients is easier now than it has ever been. This technological revolution makes things possible that it would be extremely challenging to achieve using traditional approaches.

PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to increase awareness among the optometric and vision science community of opportunities to apply 3D printing to enhance clinical practice and research.

METHODS A widely available fused deposition modeling 3D printing approach was used to fabricate several plastic items for use in optometric practice and low vision rehabilitation.

RESULTS The authors will share nine optometric extensions of 3D printing: (1) an attachment for glare-acuity testing, (2) a disposable cover paddle to limit infection spread for red-eye visits, (3) ophthalmic equipment repair/modification, (4) ophthalmic lens thickness calipers, (5) NoIR lens filter flipper, (6) Optivisor faceplate, (7) EasyPocket lanyard card holder, (8) dome magnifier handle, and (9) a phoropter near card holder.

CONCLUSIONS Designing customized solutions and problem-solving for our patients and offices are becoming easier to do using 3D printing every year. The possible applications for this technology are constantly being expanded. This technology allows for cost-effective production of solutions, some of which would not be feasible otherwise.

1College of Optometry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

2Central Ohio VA Healthcare System, Columbus, Ohio *

Supplemental Digital Content: Appendix 1, available at Flow chart that demonstrates item versions (V) with modification notes (in italics), print iterations (P), plastic material usages in meters (m) of filament length, and cost estimates in U.S. dollars (U.S. $). Each grid square represents a 10-minute increment of time.

Submitted: May 20, 2018

Accepted: October 9, 2018

Funding/Support: None of the authors have reported funding/support.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure: The authors have no financial conflict of interest for this work.

Author Contributions and Acknowledgments: Conceptualization: GRH, BCI; Methodology: BCI; Project Administration: GRH; Resources: BCI; Software: BCI; Visualization: GRH, BCI; Writing – Original Draft: GRH; Writing – Review & Editing: GRH, BCI.

The authors wish to thank Matthew Page, MA, O&M/RT, and Heather Fogle, MA, CVRT, for their help in coordination of care for patients for whom custom three-dimensional printed low vision devices were produced. Thanks also to Emma Irvin for the use of her three-dimensional printer.

No identifiable health information was included in this technical report.

Supplemental Digital Content: Direct URL links are provided within the text.

© 2019 American Academy of Optometry