3D printing has been helping surgeons with guides for a little while now. And we showed you that printed models are also being used to explain surgeries and procedures to patients. It’s an effective sales technique; people are more likely to have procedures that they understand. 3D Systems realized the huge market potential of medical models and launched Bespoke Modeling.
Creating a 3D model is as simple as uploading a CT scan or DICOM data to the cloud-based software. MRIs will also work, but their resolutions are lower so the models won’t look as good. Users can easily view and edit models, though they’re automatically cleaned to some degree, by filtering for just bone or just tissue. “Guests” can view models on any platform — Android, PC, Apple — for educational or commercial applications. Models can be annotated and bookmarked for presentations so that viewers can know what they’re looking at. These won’t be used only for explaining procedures to patients, but also in classrooms and surgical practice sessions. When prints are ordered from 3D Systems their textures are very similar to bone, so surgeons and dentists can saw and drill on them for practice. Professors can teach anatomy in a much more hands-on approach.
Users don’t have to order from 3D Systems though; they’re free to download and print the models on their own printers or at another print service, but the models from 3D Systems will be full color, high resolution, and have the bone-like properties. Bespoke Modeling is being sold on a subscription basis, which starts at $30/month for two hours of “visualization” and 2GB of storage.