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MU 3-D Printing Lab Helps Doctors and Scientists, Builds Student’s Careers

October 2, 2013

The University of Missouri’s  3-D Printing Lab encourages entrepreneurship and investment in Missouri while building students’ skills for future employment. This lab is providing resources to students, researchers, health care professionals and businesses.

Story by:  MU News Bureau


In the two years since the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering opened a three-dimensional (3-D) printing facility, students and faculty from fields as diverse as paleontology, medicine and engineering have used the printers to prepare for complicated surgeries, model extinct crocodiles and build skills for future employment.

Doctors in MU’s School of Medicine have been using the 3-D printers to prepare for surgeries. For example, Craig Kuhns, a surgeon at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, prints 3-D models of extreme deformities, such as abnormal curvatures of the spine.

“A tangible, 3-dimensional model helps me plan exactly where to place the screws and rods to straighten the spine, or determine which sections of malformed vertebrae I need to remove,” he said. “By holding the model in my hands and examining it, I also know exactly what the bone will look like in the operating room.”

Researchers also use the 3-D printers to aid research and improve teaching. Casey Holliday, assistant professor of anatomy in the MU School of Medicine, uses rapid prototyping printers to quickly and inexpensively build replicas of fossils. See more…