Medical scans and 3D printing

Your innards on the outside

Medical scans

A popular story in the last day or so has been news of a company called Fasotec that proposes to use medical scans of your unborn fetus to create a unique, 3D printed gift:

Fetus gift

From what I can tell, the service hasn’t started yet, and will only be taking place at one clinic in Japan, but I think it’s important to make the availability of your own scans a normal thing. (Even if some might consider this specific service to be a bit creepy.)

The human body is fascinating, and 3D printing is pretty accessible, so the next time you’re injured (sorry) and in need of an MRI or CT scan, why not ask for a copy of the data? Staff might balk initially just from never having been asked, but it is your data, after all.

A friend of mine broke her toe recently and requested a copy of the X-ray data. Unfortunately, the machine that the data was on would only accept blank CD-Rs for output, and even the hospital gift shop had stopped selling those… So make sure that you have a few types of media in an emergency kit that can be brought to you while still in the hospital. :)

In any case, if you want to get started printing some bits from inside of other people, there are a few neat medical uploads on Thingiverse:

The classic skull model made popular by bothacker (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3400)
Skull by bothacker

The brain of Sam Neurohack (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14352)
Scan of a living bran

An unknown person’s inner ear (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27340)
Giant-sized inner ear

Naturally the primary use of such data will tend to be on the healthcare side of things, but wouldn’t it be amazing just to have a complete 3D print of yourself from top to bottom?

(source: CNET via @B3dge)


Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing evangelist who posts weekly on the Ponoko blog. Follow him on Twitter @techknight.

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One Response to “Medical scans and 3D printing”

  1. Alphabeat Says:

    show me the schlong!