Who Needs Ribs when you have 3D Printing?


Ribs giving you trouble? Two weeks ago there was another first for surgery, medicine, and of course, 3D printing. When a man from Spain was diagnosed with bone cancer, he began treatment in Salamanca University Hospital. The cancer had formed several tumors in his chest cavity and the doctors decided that the best course of action would be to remove the bones that had been infected with the cancer cells. These bones would include several of his ribs along with his entire breastplate. The normal procedure is to replace the missing bones with a flat, titanium plate, which has the side effects of being unstable, uncomfortable and it has the chance of loosening over time.


Thankfully 3D printing has helped to provide a better way. Using CT scans of the patient’s ribcage a team of Australian engineers at a medical company called Anatomics began working on a way to print the file. The final product is something that would look equally impressive in the latest terminator film as it does here. The new print was a light titanium piece that would slide exactly the right way into the patients missing ribcage. 3D printing is helping to inspire innovation and to help create collaborations from medical doctors across the world to help save lives. So, let’s all cross our fingers that this new technology isn’t giving the Canadian government any ideas…



Murphey, Mike. “Doctors Have Implanted a 3D-printed Ribcage in an Actual Human Being.” Quartz.com. Quartz, 11 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.

Posted in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: 3D Printing for the Wolverine and “Logan” | 3D Printing | Tulsa, Oklahoma

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