Importance of 3D anatomical models continues to grow in medical sector

The continued advances in 3D printing has benefitted numerous sectors globally, but perhaps none more so than the medical technology sector.  

With the adoption of 3D printing technology becoming more widespread than ever, stakeholders within medical technology have recognised the advantages of utilsing 3D printed solutions to address a whole range of medical requirements, particularly the benefits offered by 3D printed anatomical models.

3D anatomical models can be made in a variety of materials for applications including medical device prototyping and testing, pre-surgical planning and for educational purposes. Models can be provided as a generic “off the shelf” product, or for more complex requirements models can also be provided that are specific to a particular medical patient.

3D printed anatomical model

With the advantages of anatomical models now recognised more than ever, Irish based company MedScan3D have established themselves as experts in the creation of highly accurate patient specific 3D anatomical models, as well as providers of an array of generic anatomical models. The expertise in this area accumulated by MedScan3D has allowed them develop clinically relevant models and place real anatomy in the hands of healthcare professionals and research engineers. According to MedScan3D Technical Director Jacqui O’Connor, the technology available to the company is allowing them push the boundaries of 3D medical technology more than ever.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have assembled a team that is now capable of converting medical scans into STL files that can be adapted using CAD design for port merging, 3D printed prototype models and customisable silicone casted test models. These services are proving invaluable to medical professionals and medical device companies.”

A key area of growth for anatomical models globally is within surgical planning, allowing professionals establish the optimal course of action by having a 3D model to help inform their decision making process. Whether that involves oncology requirements to show vascular locations in relation to internal tumours for radiotherapy assessment or indeed highlighting tumour shapes external to the anatomy. Cardiology, trauma and dentistry, meanwhile, have all benefitted from 3D anatomical models that allow more effective pre-surgical planning and improved predictability for patient outcomes and reduced theatre time.

An additional area in which 3D anatomical models are proving particularly valuable is in the design and development of medical devices. Customisable medical models are available from MedScan3D to suit a specific area which can optimise the testing procedures by medtech companies at all stages of the device development. The models are also geometrically designed to withstand the rigorous of laboratory and field use. O’Connor has been pleased with the feedback from the medical device sector to date.

“Our 3D anatomical models are now being adopted by medical device companies throughout the development journey of new devices,” says O’Connor. “This includes initial concept, product development, physician product testing and manufacturing quality assurance. For ongoing device testing, meanwhile, we are providing both bespoke and generically designed silicone casted models for our clients.”

Technical Director Jacqui O’Connor and the MedScan3D team

The hands on nature of anatomical models also lend themselves particularly well to training and education, providing a realistic scenario within a controlled environment. Testing on models also allows for a more cost effective alternative to animal testing. By utilising 3D models, surgeons and physicians are also able to communicate more effectively with patients regarding proposed procedures and surgeries more effectively and efficiently.

With the vast choice of models available from MedScan3D, clients are offered both generic “off the shelf” models, while bespoke patient specific models are also available. The generic silicone models are widely used for ongoing testing and visualisation purposes and can be ordered and delivered in under a 2-week lead time. The patient specific models, meanwhile, provide clients with accurate and customised anatomical parts which can be used as medical simulators for the advanced training, testing and marketing of your medical device.

With efficient and speedy turnaround times crucial in the medtech space, O’Connor has been able to create a unique competitive advantage by way of leveraging sister company 3D Technology Ltd., leaders in the Irish market of 3D printing solutions. “3D Technology Ltd. are an invaluable part of the MedScan3D business model. By having such advanced 3D printing expertise and hardware available to us, MedScan3D has really been able to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering such a comprehensive service to our clients.”

For more information regarding MedScan3D’s range of anatomical models please visit

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