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Medical Models: Printing bones for surgical testing

Medical Models: Printing bones for surgical testing

“ Raise3D printer is extremely reliable and handy. The printing result is quite good, especially with ABS.”


Persona utilizes their medical and engineering knowledge to provide customized health care services. They specialize in converting medical images to 3D models, advanced 3D CAD modelling, automated customized design, 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies. With N2 and N2 Plus, Persona produces large scale bone models for local hospitals. Louis, one of the Persona founders, has medical education background and personally understand the benefits Persona provides and the need of surgery observation models for surgeons.

Spine model printed on a Raise3D N2 Plus

Surgical procedures are challenging, and due to the variety within the human body, each procedure is unique. By 3D printing bone structures, Persona is able to provide the surgeons with the data required to successfully plan, test, and perform surgical operations.

Before including 3D printing, surgeons relied on experience and computer images to understand the procedure.

By applying 3D models and printing, the company was able to

  1. Perform and plan operations digitally in preparation for the surgery.
  2. Physically perform mock operations with the full-scale printed parts.
  3. Perform fit tests on implants prior to inserting them into the body

Results include

  1. Successful implant fit of 95%
  2. Reduced surgery time by 25%-50%.

Company: Persona Surgery Modelling Co., Ltd. 
Industry: Health Care, Surgical, Medical
Interviewee: Louis
Title: Founder


  1. CT/MRI scanning
  2. Computer aided surgical planning
  3. Computer aided design.
  4. Surgical simulation with RP models
  5. Template guided surgery

To get the initial design and geometry, a CT/MRI scan is done to get the medical images. The surgery is then performed electronically and planned through computer aid. Once the procedure is decided, CAD design is used create the replica models for the surgical simulation. Lastly, using the templates provided, the procedure can take place.

Before introduction of 3D printed pre-surgical models and other surgical templates, doctor could only perform rough surgical plans and could only simulate procedures ‘in air’ with hand motions. This type of planning relies heavily on the personal experience and professional knowledge of the surgeon. 2D/3D computer images aid the surgeon, but still don’t provide a physical means to simulate the surgery. This becomes a challenge when introducing more complicated cases.

1:1 scale hip bones

The large build volume and reliability of the Raise3D system allow Persona print large full-scale bones as well the corresponding placeholders and templates such as hipbones, spines, tibia and skulls. Without any variation in scale, the 1:1 model provides the surgeon with an accurate model to work with and reference pre-surgery. Raise3D printers can capture the details of the unique bone structure and models can each be customized for each planned surgery. The fit testing of implants have also been implemented as the printer is able to maintain a 1:1 scale accuracy.

With 3D printed models, the success in implant fitting rose from 75% to 95%; reducing the overall surgery time by 25%-50%.