Since 2011 Dr. Sugimoto, a surgeon and associate professor of gastroenterology at the Kobe University School of Medicine, has been using 3D printer to fabricate replicas of patients’ organs for the preparation for surgery. Using two-dimensional CT and MRI images of patients, doctors can create life-size replicated organs using 3D printing. These replicated organs are printed using two materials on an Objet Connex 3D printer. The outer layer is semi-transparent so doctors could see structures, bones and cancers from the outside.
In collaboration with Chiba-based medical engineering firm Fasotec Co., Dr. Sugimoto has also developed organ models that have the firmness and textures of real organs. However the manufacturing of these organs cost a pretty penny. Anywhere from 50,000 yen ($500)-150,000 yen ($1,500) not including the price of the printer, $250,000-$500,000. For the full article and pictures of these 3D printed organs go to http://www.3ders.org/articles/20130410-doctors-use-3d-printers-to-make-organs-and-bones.html.