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Wölfel, Inga; Zandt, Elisabeth; Weber, Stefanie; Maierl, Johann and Poulsen Nautrup, Cordula (26. July 2018): 3D printing – a valuable way of teaching gross anatomy. 32nd Congress of the European Association of Veterinary Anatomists, Hannover, Germany, 25. - 28. Juli 2018. European Association of Veterinary Anatomists (ed.) , Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia. Vol. 47, No. S1 Wiley.

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Introduction: 3D printing has become a well-known and often used method to create three dimensional objects in all fields of life – medicine, architecture, criminology. With the laws on occupational safety becoming stricter and stricter, it is necessary to do research on new methods of preparing correct anatomic specimen. This and the other positive aspects of 3D printing (numberless reprintable exact copies), were the motivation to create datasets and print various anatomic specimens. Materials and Methods: Several 3D and CT-datasets of different anatomic structures such as organs, bones and ligaments were produced. Afterwards the CT-datasets were chosen with regard to their technical quality and whether the finest structures were visible. Later the CT-datasets were further processed with the help of the software OsiriX, Blender and zBrush® until printable datasets were available. These datasets were subsequently printed by a powder based 3D printer and specially prepared to enhance durability. Only one of the production steps involves handling of aggressive substances, compared to classic anatomic preparations. To test whether the printed specimens are suitable for anatomic lessons, they were evaluated during 2nd semester courses. Results: The different resulting specimens resembled real anatomic specimen to a high extent, with regard to the visual aspects. The haptic features were different, depending on which 3D specimen was printed – organ or osseous structures. However, it was possible to create 3D specimens, which are equipped with all of the finest structures the original specimen had. The printed specimens were positively evaluated. Conclusion: Detailed 3D printing of anatomically correct specimens is valuable for teaching and apart from being less critical with regard to occupational safety, it is highly appreciated by students because 3D printing allows to meet very special requirements of certain anatomic lessons.

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