Michigan State University

3D Printing At MSU - In Health Sciences

skull and replica of part of the skull made from a 3D printer

3D Printing Now Available at the MSU Library

3D printing has grown from a small, niche industry to a technology that has taken the academic and medical world by storm! Medical professionals and educators are using 3D printers to create scale models for head and neck surgeons to practice on before complex surgeries, to print organs and prosthetics, to demonstrate normal and abnormal anatomy in the classroom and much more.

At MSU, we have scanned and printed an infant femur for an instructor in the Radiology Department and a copy of the Taung Child Skull, the fossilized skull of a young Australopithecus africanus, whose discovery revolutionized the timeline of human evolution in the mid-20th century. We also created 3D printed versions of a canine jaw bone from the ‘bone boxes’ used in Veterinary Medicine at MSU to teach students about the skeletal system of mammals. This allows students to continue to study and practice on the jawbone after they return the bone box at the end of their first year and without fear of damaging the specimen.

3D Printing is very straight forward:

  • Download or create a 3D printable file (the library can help with this)
  • Upload it to the file submission form
  • We will contact you to confirm print time and pricing ($0.20/gram)
  • Turnaround times vary from 1-5 days depending on the size and resolution of the print
  • Pick up your print!

The library wants to explore partnerships with other units and departments on campus, including those in the health sciences, to work on 3D scanning, modeling and printing  projects. This can be for lab use, teaching tools, student projects and other educational applications. Learn more at MSU Libraries' 3D Printing website or contact your liaison librarian

Image from: Ancient meets Modern by UCL EngineeringCC BY- SA 2.0