Optimising the stiffness of 3D-printed stents through finite element modelling

Study level

Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Mark Allenby
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (AQF)
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr Edmund Pickering
Postdoctoral Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Personalised medicine, through 3D printing of uniquely designed medical devices, offers to provide marked improvements in patient outcomes. One of interest at QUT is 3D printing of arterial stents. 3D printing allows the stent to be tailored to meet various design goals (e.g. stiffness).

In this project, we are interested in predicting the stiffness of 3D-printed stents. Using finite element analysis (ANSYS APDL), you will model different stent geometries and design, and predict how these stents behave under various loads.

Currently an FEA model has already been developed to model a simple stent design under tensile load.  You will expand this to incorporate different designs and loading scenarios.

See video for an example of the current model.

Research activities

In this project you will work with members of various research group at QUT, including the Biomechanics & Spine Research Group (Edmund Pickering), Laboratory For Advanced Modelling And Simulation In Engineering and Science (Arixin Bo), and Biofabrication and Tissue Morphology Group (Mia Woodruff, Mark Allenby, Trent Brooks-Richards).

You will focus on building a finite element model of arteria stents, as discussed above. Through this, you will develop new knowledge of the behaviour of different stent designs.


  • You will build models of different stent designs and use this to predict their behaviour.
  • These predictions will inform fundamental design decisions, which will be used to optimise 3D-printed stent design.

Skills and experience

  • This project is targeted at 2nd and 3rd year medical and mechanical engineers.
  • Experience in FEA and MATLAB is desired but not required. 
  • This project will use ANSYS APDL, again, experience is desired but not required. We are here to help you.


For enquiries, please contact Edmund Pickering.