Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Ruth Jill Urbanic


Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech




Currently available thoracentesis medical training simulators lack tactile realism and do not represent the physiological variations in patient characteristics, impeding optimal experiential learning. By systematically implementing advanced computer-aided design (CAD) techniques and additive manufacturing (AM) tools, with a flexible design methodology, thoracic wall representations for a 2-year-old male, an 18-year-old female, and a 30-year-old male, with complete skeletal structures necessary for palpation sequencing were modelled. Models for the 2-year-old male and 18-year-old female were fabricated, complete with realistic tissues that accurately represent the various discrete tissue layers of the human thoracic cross section. Clavicular growth rates were used to develop factors with which to scale the skeletal models to represent a range of patient demographics. Parametrically modelled mould sets enable the modification of tissue thickness to account for varying thoracic wall thicknesses observed in the thoracentesis demographic. Through the implementation of scaling factors based on skeletal growth rates from the literature to represent different patient groups, clavicle sizing accuracy ranging from 0.4%-1.3% was achieved, and intercostal space measurement accuracy of 0.7%-2.8% was achieved as compared to target values from the literature. Improvements to simulated tissue were observed, with a 28.54% improvement in terms of peak force, 20.17% for impulse, and 36.31% for pulse width, when compared to the THM-30, a currently available popular model.