Cost-Effective Method for 3-Dimensional Printing Dynamic Multiobject and Patient-Specific Brain Tumor Models: Technical Note

Aaron Damon, William Clifton, Fidel Valero-Moreno, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a powerful tool for replicating patient-specific anatomic features for education and surgical planning. The advent of “desktop” 3D printing has created a cost-effective and widely available means for institutions with limited resources to implement a 3D-printing workflow into their clinical applications. The ability to physically manipulate the desired components of a “dynamic” 3D-printed model provides an additional dimension of anatomic understanding. There is currently a gap in the literature describing a cost-effective and time-efficient means of creating dynamic brain tumor 3D-printed models. Methods: Using free, open-access software (3D Slicer) for patient imaging to Standard Tessellation Language file conversion, as well as open access Standard Tessellation Language editing software (Meshmixer), both intraaxial and extraaxial brain tumor models of patient-specific pathology are created. Results: A step-by-step methodology and demonstration of the software manipulation techniques required for creating cost-effective, multidimensional brain tumor models for patient education and surgical planning are exhibited using a detailed written guide, images, and a video display. Conclusions: In this technical note, we describe in detail the specific functions of free, open-access software and desktop 3D printing techniques to create dynamic and patient-specific brain tumor models for education and surgical planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-179
Number of pages7
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • 3D printing
  • Anatomy
  • Brain models
  • Brain surgery
  • Fused deposition modeling
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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