Medical 3D printing is ‘future of surgery’

Jun 20, 2018 | 3D printing | 2 comments


Henry Ford Health SystemIn her office at Henry Ford Hospital, cardiologist Dee Dee Wang has more than 100 3D models of hearts.

Detroit — One day in the not-too-distant future, your surgeon might be able to give you new bones, joints, even soft-tissue organs that were “printed” in-house.

It sounds like something out of “Westworld,” the HBO sci-fi series where humanoid robots are 3D-printed. But hospitals are working on the cutting edge of medical innovation to make it a reality.

At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., doctors and researchers led by otolaryngologist Glenn Green, M.D., are working on nearly 30 medical 3D projects that are customized to help individual patients.

UM’s most successful implantable 3D procedure is a medical 3D-created biodegradable splint device to treat a rare life-threatening airway disorder that mostly occurs in babies called tracheobronchomalacia. The disorder causes the windpipe to periodically collapse and prevents normal breathing.

The manufactured splint device using one of UM’s 30 3D printers is sewn around a floppy airway area in the neck to provide support and protection during airway growth. Over three years, the splint is absorbed by the body. UM has treated a total of 15 patients from the ages of three months up to 70, said Green, who practices at UM’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“We think [medical 3D printing] is the next great revolution in surgery,” said Green. “It is still in the early stage where we are trying to work everything out. There isn’t reimbursement for most of it. It is a key problem we are working on.”

UM is not the only hospital in the region working to bring 3-D medical printing into the operating room. Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak are also working on their own applications for this transformational technology.

For the rest of the article go to:


  1. Kristina Cruse

    I am seeking information regarding a brace I just had made for a foot issue, I was wondering if possible to get an idea of how much it would cost to get a replica of the brace in a much lighter, thinner material, plastic?

    • oscar

      Hello Kristina,

      In regards to pricing for your brace, we would need the .stl file or the .stp file to give you an accurate quote. The material of the plastic would be nylon. the lightness of the brace would depend on the design of it.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.