Commissioning a hobby cutting device for radiochromic film preparation


In addition to a high spatial resolution and well characterised dose response, one of the major advantages of radiochromic film as a dosimeter is that sheets of film can be cut into pieces suitable for use as calibration films, and for in vivo and phantom measurements. The cutting of film is typically done using scissors or a guillotine, and this process can be time-consuming, limited in precision, requires extensive handling and does not allow holes to be cut from the film without cutting from an existing edge. This study investigated the use of a Brother ScanNCut hobby cutting system for EBT3 film preparation. The optimal operating parameters (blade size, pressure, speed) that resulted in precise cuts with minimal delamination at cut edges were identified using test cutting patterns. These parameters were then used to cut a large film insert for a stereotactic head phantom for comparison against an insert cut with scissors. While the hobby cutting system caused a wider region of delamination at the film edge (1.8 mm) compared to scissors (1 mm), the hobby cutting system was found to be able to produce reproducible cuts more efficiently and more accurately than scissors. The use of the hobby cutting system is recommended for complex phantom inserts (containing sharp corners or holes for alignment rods) or in situations where large numbers of film pieces need to be prepared.

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The authors wish to thank Steven Sylvander and Cancer Care Services at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital for the provision of film stock and equipment.

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Correspondence to Scott B. Crowe.

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Zolfaghari, S., Francis, K.E., Kairn, T. et al. Commissioning a hobby cutting device for radiochromic film preparation. Australas Phys Eng Sci Med 40, 449–453 (2017).

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  • Radiation therapy
  • Dosimetry
  • Radiochromic film
  • Film cutting