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3D Printed Skeletons from CT Scans

| Medical Technology | April 8, 2013

3D Printed Skeleton from CT Scans

This 3D printed skeleton was created from a CT scan of the rat

This 3D printed skeleton is an example of how this technology can be used in both veterinary and human medical applications. The skeleton in a carbon copy of the rat’s skeleton as it was created from actual CT scan data of the rat.

Although you might think that there’s not much use in a 3D printed rat skeleton but it shows that producing exact reproductions of CT scans is possible. This project started when engineering student Evan Doney visited an ear nose and throat specialist and their conversation resulted in a collaboration to print out skeletal structures.

Done, along with a group of colleagues, used widely available freeware software to convert CT can data into a format that could be sent to a 3D printer. This rat skeleton 3D CT scan model was 3D printed and also included a pair of removable lungs.

This CT scan modeling technique, based on patient CT scans, is aimed at helping surgeons prepare for difficult surgeries, such as removing tumors that are difficult to locate. 3D printed patient skeletons models could also be used for education and training as an alternative to the expensive human skeleton models that are currently available. Rather than spend several hundred dollars on a skull model educational a 3D printed version could cost as little as $20.

Trainee doctors could also examine reproductions of actual patient skulls or skeletons, in order to learn about treating those who were suffering from various diseases or conditions.

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