The Benefits of 3D Printed Surgical Models to Animals

The Benefits of 3D Printed Surgical Models to Animals

It is quite hard for anyone to lose their beloved pet that they have treated as a part of the family. You feel worried if you look at them suffering from pain that all you can do is to put them asleep. It can be a terrible feeling if you can’t do anything to treat your pet and bring back its liveliness. The good thing is that new ways on how you can help your pet overcome the illness are presented and one of these is the use of 3D Printing. 3D printing has been considered a life saver for humans, and now, can already be used for our beloved pets.


Studies Conducted Using 3D Printing

A study was recently completed by Deidre Quinn-Gorham, who is from Tuskegee University’s School of Veterinary about the 3D printed copies of a metal surgical plate and a dog’s humerus bone that was deformed. She acquired help from Direct Dimensions who had laser scanned the bone and the plate, and also from Xometry who worked in printing the bone in nylon and the plate using aluminum. After that, she decided to compare the prints from the originals and found out that they are both identical. She came up with an idea that the 3D prints can perform an essential role in surgical planning and cooperative procedures.


A neurosurgeon who lectures at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine named Evelyn Galban had agreed with Quinn-Gorham. Dr. Galban became familiar with a dog named Millie, who is suffering from a tumor in her skull. This situation can be difficult to treat unless the dog will undergo a surgery that should be plan by the vet as early as possible. Dr. Galban asked help from the School of Design’s Fabrication Lab to make 3D models of Millie’s CAT scan data. These were then used in creating a replica of the dog’s skull. It took about 6 hours for the gypsum model to be printed that allowed Dr. Galban to examine the tumor closely. The tumor had an impact to the brain of Millie because it protruded out from its top skull up to the inner part.


How to Save Animals through 3D Printing

By using the replica, Dr. Galban can construct a plan for how she can do the surgery right away without putting the life of Millie in danger when doing the procedure. After the tumor will be removed, a titanium mesh plate will be used in covering the very soft spot on her head as a protection for the brain. Instead of spending longer time for the procedure, Dr. Galban had already designed the plate by fitting it to the replica so it can be easily attached to Millie’s head during the surgery.


This type of technology is already applied to human surgeries which mean it is no longer surprising that it can also be used for veterinary procedures. Dr. Galban works with PennDesign’s Stephen Smeltzer, Dennis Pierattini, and other veterinary residents, namely Jon Wood and Leontine Benedicenti in creating 3D printed models of dogs and cats who are suffering from various types of injuries and deformities. These models are not only valuable to animals, but they can also be of a great help to veterinary students during their trainings.



New to 3D Printing? Check out our 3D Printing basics section, find the answer on popular question what is 3d printing or what types of 3d printers exist, and learn about many other interesting things. Or visit all over the United States 3d printers catalog to find 3d printer price and general information from many manufacturers.  

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