Abbey Delaney December 12, 2016

RSNA 2016 annual meeting invited radiologists to Chicago to learn, explore new ways to collaborate and envision their profession at the next level. This year’s theme, “Beyond Imaging: Maximizing Radiology’s Role in Patient Care,” encouraged radiologists to explore new ways to expand their service line and learn ways to increase the personalization of radiology services to patients.

3D Printing fit well into the theme of this year’s meeting, demonstrating a way for radiologists to reinvent their practice and maximize their role in patient care. With the momentum of 3D Printing at RSNA, it was clear that many believe 3D Printing is the next modality of imaging and should be managed and delivered by radiology. From presentations, to hands-on learning and a dedicated educational area, 3D Printing attracted the interest of leaders from all over the world.


Beyond imaging: RSNA 2016


Industry Leaders Share their Expertise

Throughout the week industry leaders from the Mayo Clinic, Ottawa Hospital, Walter Reed, Boston Children’s and more shared their expertise in 3D Printing during several didactic sessions with rooms filled to capacity. Each provided expert opinions on the technology and explored many use cases of 3D Printing. These topics ranged from applications in the management of complex congenital heart disease, maxillofacial and orthopedic surgery, and even considerations for implementing 3D Printing as a new service line within radiology. The value that Materialise brings to the entire 3D Printing process was clearly evident during these presentations.


3D Printing Hands-on (Mimics) Workshop

For now the third year, hundreds gathered for hands-on workshops to learn how to create 3D-printed models from patient DICOM data using Materialise Mimics. Starting from CT imaging, attendees were lead through an exercise to model a 3D printable bilateral iliac aneurysm and also an exercise to create a custom guide and implant for a pelvic tumor case.

Attendees also got to watch live as the instructors from the Ottawa Hospital demonstrated a vascular stent graft simulation on the aneurysm model prepared during the course – again demonstrating the unique benefits 3D Printing offers. Being able to follow along and learn from skilled instructors, gave attendees the sense of how they might be able to apply this in their everyday practice.


  Frank Rybicki, MD, PhD, Chief Radiologist from the Ottawa Hospital had this to say,

“Medical 3D Printing holds great potential to transform care and realize personalized medicine. Radiology will play a large role in the use of medical models. However, to realize the full potential of 3D Printing, educating radiologist and medical professionals is key.”


In case you missed the hands-on session, the 3D Printing in Medicine Journal has published an article Medical 3D Printing for vascular interventions and surgical oncology: a primer for the 2016 radiological society of North America (RSNA) hands-on course in 3D Printing – with step by step instructions to the exercises from the workshop.


Workshop at RSNA 2016


3D Printing Educational Area

For many radiologists, 3D Printing is still something relatively new. Having a comprehensive understanding of the 3D Printing process is essential to being able to think beyond imaging and recognize the tremendous value and potential 3D Printing offers. RSNA has recognized this need and created a 3D Printing educational area for attendees to learn more about this incredible technology. Put together by the renowned Mayo Clinic, attendees were immersed in the history of 3D Printing, the various technologies available today, and case studies from around the world. Key opinion leaders also presented case studies that discussed the pivotal role that robust segmentation and high quality models provide – including several mentions of Materialise. Education is key to the advancement of the industry.


3D Printing Special Interest Group (SIG)

To capitalize on the growing interest in 3D printing, RSNA 2016 introduced a new 3D Printing Special Interest Group (SIG) to its members. 3D Printing for patient care crosses all subspecialties of medicine, with radiology at the intersection. The new SIG will focus on building evidence for 3D Printing through journal articles and three upcoming clinical trials. In addition, the SIG will work on creating standard terminology and a medical certification program. During the inaugural meeting at RSNA, our CEO, Wilfried Vancraen gave an inspiring talk on how far 3D printing has come and where it needs to go. The group will convene again in Scottsdale, AZ during the Mayo Clinic Collaborative 3D Printing event in March 2017.

During an interview at RSNA with Digital Industry Insider, Jonathan Morris, MD from the Mayo Clinic spoke about the new 3D Printing Special Interest Group.


“What we are trying to do through the special interest group is build evidence to allow it to be in more hospitals and surgical centers. Build the evidence to be more reimbursable.”


3D Printing is reinventing radiology and becoming the new standard of care for medical professionals. We are proud to support RSNA as they help provide the tools for the advancement of 3D printing.

Want to try out the Mimics inPrint or speak to one of our experts about how 3D Printing could help reinvent your work? Let us know!