Medical Modeling

Medical Modeling

Experienced designers work with surgeons and other health care providers to develop custom models of patient anatomy. Model accuracy and precision exhibit the details and specific anomalies which allow physicians to best tailor treatment plans to each patient. The turnaround time from initial order to delivery is much shorter than outside vendors and can be as little as 48 hours. In addition to models of patient anatomy, custom surgical guides, templates, and other tools may also be produced for use in the OR.

Our team has produced models for Washington University Surgeons including:

  • Craniofacial for facial trauma, craniosynostosis, orbital dysmorphology, and tumors
  • Pediatric cardiology for tetralogy of fallot
  • Nephrology for tumors (see blog)

Work flow

  1. Patient imaging – CT/MRI
  2. Doctor and Technician go over the plan for the model: specifying anatomy and printing material properties including color, rigidity/flexibility, or sterilizability. 
  3. Technician does initial image segmentation and sends snapshots of the drafted model
  4. Upon approval the part is printed
  5. Model delivered to physician

Our story

In 2014, the Craniofacial Surgery Group in the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine applied for funding to purchase a high-end 3D printer for medical modelling and pre-surgical planning. Installation of the Stratasys Eden 260VS followed in the Spring 2015. Almost immediately the craniofacial surgeons used the high-resolution models for surgical planning. The models impacted their operative plans and reduced OR time. Word of the printing facility spread and now physicians and researchers from multiple disciplines take advantage of the service. The medical modeling service is overseen by Dr. Kamlesh Patel, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and Dr. L. Michael Brunt, MD, chief of the Section of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine.

3D printing adult skull

Adult skull

3D printing pediatric skull

Pediatric skull

3D printing aorta


3D printing kidney


3D printing uterus


Abdominal WallAbdominal wall