Veterinary Orthopedic 3D Printing

There seems to be a very good argument for 3D printing right now in Veterinary Orthopedics.  Vet Schools are leading the way as they should!


Dr. Judith A. Hudson, a radiology professor at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine used 3D printing to create a life size skeletal model of a dog.  Here is a picture of it. It took 8 days of continuous printing to create an entire skeleton, but we can count on print time decreasing in the future.  That skeleton model would likely be welcome in every small animal practice.  Their 3D printer cost them only $2500.  However, the SOFTWARE was $11,000.  We can also expect prices to decline rapidly.


The team at Cornell vet school is now regularly using a CT scan to create a model of the deformed or fractured bones the surgeon will address.  In one example the surgeon was able to create the plate he needed in advance.   The printed bone fragments can be sterilized, so they can be implanted.


3D bone models have been orthopedically implanted for some time.  For example here is a Jaw Bone created to be implanted into a human cancer survivor. 3D Systems claims to have 3D printed 10,000 (!) prosthetic knee devices for implanting into cruciate torn dogs.


Yesterday veterinarians drooled over which digital X-ray machine or ultrasound to purchase.  Tomorrow they will be deciding on which 3D printer.



About Author: rtripp
Founder of Veterinary Future Society

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