Earmolds and Hearing Aid Shells: A Tutorial Part 5By Pirzanski, Chester, BSc; Hearing Review, Vol. 13, No. 10, pp. 22-28
Publication Date: September 2006
Article focuses on the manufacturing of conventional and digital earmolds, which the author contends are the most critical and problematic part of the hearing instrument fitting process. The Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) method of shell manufacturing consists of three stages: (1) impression scanning, (2) virtual modeling, and (3) shell printing. The three stages are linked to a computer server that integrates the data from each stage to create the final hearing aid shell. During scanning, the ear impression is photographed by several digital cameras. A digital impression is then generated, as this can be performed in a clinician’s office or earmold lab in two to ten minutes. Modeling is the process where the technician or modeler modifies the virtual impression with three-dimensional modeling software and creates a virtual hearing aid shell. An accurate ear impression is required in order to create a properly fitted shell. Finally, printing is the term used for the actual production of the shell or earmold, which is accomplished via Selected Laser Sintering or Stereo Lithographic Apparatuses.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://hearingreview.com/article.php?s=HR/2006/09&p=4