Producing Three-Dimensional (3D) Printed Hand Models for Anatomy Education Using Cadaveric Dissection – A Feasibility Study

Sameer Dhumale, T.W. Barraclough, Adam Stokes, W Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Many medical institutions are resorting to new methods of teaching anatomy to avoid the expense of using cadaveric material.1 Dissection and prosection have been employed since the birth of anatomical science but, in light of changing social and ethical standpoints, the emergence of new health concerns and the unsustainable costs involved with teaching using cadavers, new resources are required to maintain a high level of anatomy knowledge for those planning to enter the surgical field.

Emerging technologies have been advancing, adding a clinically relevant approach to anatomical studies. Radio imaging, computer-assisted learning and cross-sectional anatomy have almost (and in some institutions, entirely) replaced dissection-based learning, despite evidence suggesting that these methods are not producing graduates with sufficient anatomical knowledge to enter medical practice.2 Subsequently, there have been insufficient specialty applications to surgery, with the few applicants displaying below par capabilities, a concern voiced by The Royal College of Surgeons of England.2 A discordance has emerged between effective and affordable anatomy teaching and learning resources, prompting calls for the development and validation of new alternatives.3

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is becoming widely available across many industries. Its applications are already widespread in the toy, architecture and electronics industries, but the education sector has yet to adopt and exploit its array of benefits. The object of this study was to introduce 3D printing to the anatomical model development process and to understand how the field of anatomy may benefit from affordable, portable and accurate learning devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-222
JournalAnnals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number5
Early online date30 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jun 2018


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