Ohio States veterinary program replicates bones with 3D printing


CT scans provide exact models used to create plastic reproductions for education and surgery.

Photos courtesy of Ohio State University.Since adopting 3D printing last summer, Ohio State's College of Veterinary Medicine has found applications for the technology in education and surgery.

“These are bone replicas of actual canine patients from the Veterinary Medical Center,” says Tatiana Motta, DVM, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, in a university release. “We can use a CT scan from a patient, and produce a bone model that looks exactly like the bone in the dog.”

The technology produces models using layered strings of plastic, according to the release. Seven hundred strings make up each layer. The models can be made within 24 hours of the CT scan.

The plastic bones give students an opportunity to build confidence by practicing, Motta says.  

Jonathan Dyce, VetMB, MRCVS, DSAO, DACVS, associate professor in veterinary clinical sciences, says 3D printing helps him with surgically correcting dogs with limb deformities. “I think we are just starting to realize the advancements this technology may give us,” he says. “The next few years are going to be quite exciting.”

Applications for 3D printing are gaining popularity in veterinary education, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association website. The University of California, Davis, Cornell University and Auburn University are all using the technology as well.


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