Vangsness III, Carleton Thomas (2017-07). A Feasibility Study of Laser-Assisted Titanium Implant Drilling for Periprosthetic Fracture Repair. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • This body of work studies the feasibility of hand drilling through a titanium implant located in the femur. This is hypothesized to be achievable via laser-assisted drilling with carbide tools. A series of tests were conducted to measure the thrust force and torque with different shaped drill bits under dry- and laser-assisted drilling (using a 200-watt fiber laser), respectively. These drill bits included 2-flute and 3-flute twist drills and a straight flute drill that is clinically available. Successive time under laser exposure was examined. Thermal propagation was examined both experimentally and modeled in Abaqus. Finally, tool wear was examined. When all results are taken in context, the best option for clinical use is the two-flute design. The three-flute design is not practical for use during hand drilling and the straight flute experiences significant tool wear. Further, thermal control will need to be looked at due to a higher heat input from drilling than laser exposure.

publication date

  • July 2017