Anatomy for sale

Anatomy for sale

27 May 2015

3D printed armWorking on human cadavers may become a thing of the past for medical students after the launch of the Monash-developed technology that allows them to look inside the body and see the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.

The Monash kit is the first commercially available resource of its kind. After signing a deal with German anatomical model makers, Erler-Zimmer, the series is available for sale online.

The series includes anatomically correct models that would be impossible to visualise in an embalmed body – such as 3D prints of the vasculature of the brain.

The 3D prints of the human body were created using technologies such as laser hand-held scanners, MRI imaging and CT scans.

After scanning real anatomical specimens with either a CT or a surface laser scanner, the body parts are 3D printed either in a plaster-like powder or in plastic, resulting in high resolution, accurate colour reproductions.

The cost-effective anatomical kit was heralded as a breakthrough to dramatically improve trainee doctors' and other health professionals' knowledge, and a contribution to the development of better surgical outcomes for patients.