SU-E-J-49: Design and Fabrication of Custom 3D Printed Phantoms for Radiation Therapy Research and Quality Assurance




The rapid proliferation of affordable 3D printing techniques has enabled the custom fabrication of items ranging from paper weights to medical implants. This study investigates the feasibility of utilizing the technology for developing novel phantoms for use in radiation therapy quality assurance (QA) procedures.


A phantom for measuring the geometric parameters of linear accelerator (LINAC) on-board imaging (OBI) systems was designed using SolidWorks. The design was transferred to a 3D printer and fabricated using a fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique. Fiducials were embedded in the phantom by placing 1.6 mm diameter steel balls in predefined holes and securing them with silicone. Several MV and kV images of the phantom were collected and the visibility and geometric accuracy were evaluated. A second phantom, for use in the experimental evaluation of a high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy dosimeter, was designed to secure several applicator needles in water. The applicator was fabricated in the same 3D printer and used for experiments.


The general accuracy of printed parts was determined to be 0.1 mm. The cost of materials for the imaging and QA phantoms were $22 and $5 respectively. Both the plastic structure and fiducial markers of the imaging phantom were visible in MV and kV images. Fiducial marker locations were determined to be within 1mm of desired locations, with the discrepancy being attributed to the fiducial attachment process. The HDR phantom secured the applicators within 0.5 mm of the desired locations.


3D printing offers an inexpensive method for fabricating custom phantoms for use in radiation therapy quality assurance. While the geometric accuracy of such parts is limited compared to more expensive methods, the phantoms are still highly functional and provide a unique opportunity for rapid fabrication of custom phantoms for use in radiation therapy QA and research.