We have recently reported on 3D printing being used in the medical field to produce medical supplies on demand, but now there seems to be a new use for 3D printing in the medical industry. The University of Malaysia has started using 3D printed skulls to train doctors in brain surgery.
Normally, the hundreds of hours a surgeon has to train before working on an actual living person are all done using cadavers, the bodies of people that donated themselves to science after their death. As you might expect there isn’t an endless supply for prospective surgeons to practice on, and you certainly want surgeons to have lots of practice before ever touching a patient.
3D printing has now stepped up to fill this void and offer an on demand solution. Scientists at the University of Malaysia have already begun printing 3D skulls to practice on. The printed material reportedly has a very similar feel to an actual skull and should make a good learning tool that might replace the need for endless cadavers.