Lichtenberger JP, Tatum PS, Gada S, Wyn M, Ho VB, Liacouras P. Using 3D printing (additive manufacturing) to produce low-cost simulation models for medical training. Military Medicine. 2018,1;183(suppl_1):73-77


Abstract

Objectives: This work describes customized, task-specific simulation models derived from 3D printing in clinical settings and medical professional training programs.
Methods: Simulation models/task trainers have an array of purposes and desired achievements for the trainee, defining that these are the first step in the production process. After this purpose is defined, computer-aided design and 3D printing (additive manufacturing) are used to create a customized anatomical model. Simulation models then undergo initial in-house testing by medical specialists followed by a larger scale beta testing. Feedback is acquired, via surveys, to validate effectiveness and to guide or determine if any future modifications and/or improvements are necessary.
Results: Numerous custom simulation models have been successfully completed with resulting task trainers designed for procedures, including removal of ocular foreign bodies, ultrasound-guided joint injections, nerve block injections, and various suturing and reconstruction procedures. These task trainers have been frequently utilized in the delivery of simulation-based training with increasing demand.
Conclusions: 3D printing has been integral to the production of limited-quantity, low-cost simulation models across a variety of medical specialties. In general, production cost is a small fraction of a commercial, generic simulation model, if available. These simulation and training models are customized to the educational need and serve an integral role in the education of our military health professionals.



Link to journal: https://academic.oup.com/milmed