Purpose: To study the possibility of using 3D printing technology in radiation oncology for developing quality assurance phantom and patient specific bolus.
Methods: Three‐dimensional (3D) printing is an additive manufacturing technique that can precisely fabricate objects of complex 3D geometry. Several researchers have used 3D printing for applications in radiotherapy such as developing phantom, generating customized bolus, immobilization devices and compensators. In this work we have investigated the application of 3D printing for making customized bolus and an IGRT QA phantom. Given the high and potentially dangerous doses of radiation given to patients, QA is an essential part of radiotherapy practice. A cube of size 12 x 12 x 12 cm3 was designed using a computer aided drawing software with laser alignment cross marks on three faces of it and radio-opaque balls fixed, with one at the center to perform Winston and Lutz test and the rest at specific off centered positions to perform IGRT QA.To study the suitability of the extruder material for bolus, small slabs of the polylactic acid (PLA) were 3D printed with 100% infill. The CT dataset was used to 3D print the bolus. The bolus contour added during the contouring as an organ was transferred to Slicer 3D software to convert to a 3D printable format. A desktop low-cost 3D printer was used for 3D printing.
Results: : IGRT QA with the Cube was performed on a UNIQUE linear accelerator with EPID and the results are accurate to less than 1 mm. The depth dose characteristics, studied for 6 MV photon beam for the PLA having a density of 1.66, reduced the dose maximum to 10 mm.
Conclusion: We conclude that 3D printing technology is a versatile and could be used in radiotherapy applications such as phantom and bolus making.