Producing the next level of 3D printing services for medical training and education

Heidelberg, 15nd of November 2017- With the objective of improving the methods of learning and training for students and medical professionals, Inova DE, Create it Real, University of Heidelberg and University of Tübingen have started a project to produce realistic and accurate 3D models of a particular patient funded within the framework of the Eurostars Programme.

When medical students learn anatomy, they first learn that the anatomy atlas does not correspond to reality. Each patient differs considerably from what is shown in books and plastic models. The only reliable study material is actual human bodies donated for medical studies. These bodies are insufficient and access is restricted, and in some countries not even available.

To address this problem, the consortium proposes itself to produce the next level of 3D printing services for medical training and education: 3D printed organ models that are realistic, affordable, conform to the actual patient images and at the hands of every medical student. These anatomically correct models will have the same haptic characteristics as real organs, enabling a better learning experience.

Real organs have gradual hardness and texture gradients which are not reproducible at an affordable price. With such models, it would be possible to replace animal models that are used today. To make realistic models from patient images the consortium will improve existing hardware and software models available for 3D printing.

The project will run until the end of March 2020.