Anatomical Models

Anatomical 3D models enable clinicians to achieve more predictable outcomes for each personalized case. Discover how you too can implement anatomical models in your workflow by browsing the FAQ section or watching one of the many webinars by leading experts.

 Resources - Anatomical Models

Frequently asked questions

  • Getting started
  • Requirements and recommendations
  • Design
  • I have no 3D design experience, how can I design my own model?

    Our engineers can make a printable 3D file based on your DICOM information. Don't hesitate to contact us.

  • Why would I need a model?

    3D-printed anatomical models are the newest components of a multidisciplinary clinical team, improving communication and education by creating a tangible representation of the anatomy.

    • 3D anatomy model helps to demonstrate the surgical plan to the patient for better understanding and deeper engagement.
    • 3D-printed anatomical models can be used to educate residents and students on complex medical pathologies.

    3D anatomical models can be used for a broad range of applications in the specialties of orthopedics, maxillofacial surgery, cardiovascular disease, oncology, pediatric and many more.

  • Why choose Materialise HeartPrint for cardiovascular anatomical models?

    We have over 25 years of expertise in patient-specific image handling, computer-aided design on anatomy and 3D Printing, meaning that the anatomical models we provide are highly accurate and realistic.

  • How much time do you need to create a 3D-printed model?

    This depends whether you have all that is needed in-house or if you outsource some steps or even the entire process. Outsourcing the printing will require a lead time of at least 5 working days. Generating the 3D model and excluding the printing part will depend on your level of expertise and the regions of interest. With Materialise Mimics inPrint, an intermediate user would take between 20 min. and 2 hours to segment and prepare an anatomical model for printing.

  • Is it possible to get a rough price estimate?

    Of course. We are happy to take a look at your DICOM files and discuss what you would like the model to look like in order to give you a price estimate.

  • Which 3D segmentation software can I use to create models?

    You can use any Materialise segmentation software to transform your images into a virtual 3D printable file.

  • What is minimal wall thickness and level of detail?

    For anatomical models, the wall thickness depends on the material and size. However, the minimum value is around 1,0mm.

  • What is the maximum size the model can be?

    The maximum size of your model depends on the 3D printing process you choose.

  • What are the recommended materials for anatomical model printing?

    There is no 'perfect' 3D printing material for each application. There are multiple criteria used to determine the most suitable material for your anatomical model, such as size, level of detail, type of material, use, color and finish. For cardiovascular applications we have developed a proprietary, highly realistic HeartPrint Flex material. For professional consultancy, please don't hesitate to contact your local office.

  • What are the imaging requirements for creating a Materialise HeartPrint® model?

    To assure that your Materialise HeartPrint model reaches the required level of detail and accuracy, we recommend using contrast-enhanced images with isotropic voxels. For more details on the recommended imaging protocols for CT and MRI, consult the Materialise HeartPrint Imaging Guidelines.

  • Are the models off-the-shelf or customizable?

    With Materialise HeartPrint, we offer a range of off-the-shelf standard models from our catalog to fully customized models. Off-the-shelf models can be tweaked with connection pieces, cuts, logos or any 3D operations according to your wishes. If you can’t find what you need in our catalog, you can tell us what you are looking for and we will explore our medical image database for relevant images. If you have medical images available, we can also start working from those. All models are created from patient-specific medical image data processed by our team with the Materialise Mimics Innovation Suite.

Featured webinars

The Role of 3D Printing


The Role of 3D Printing and "On-Screen" Surgery in the Repair of a Series of Complex Encephaloceles

Introduction to Medical 3D


Introduction to Medical 3D Printers: Building a new lab/service line

next frontier of 3D printing


The next frontier of 3D printing for procedure planning, simulation and physician training

Incorporating 3D Printing


Incorporating 3D Printing in management of complex congenital heart defects