3D-printing a cost-effective model for mastoidectomy training

Andreas Frithioff*, Kenneth Weiss, Martin Frendø, Pascal Senn, Peter Trier Mikkelsen, Daniel Sieber, Mads Sølvsten Sørensen, David Bue Pedersen, Steven Arild Wuyts Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work


BACKGROUND: 3D-printed temporal bone models can potentially provide a cost-effective alternative to cadaver surgery that can be manufactured locally at the training department. The objective of this study was to create a cost-effective 3D-printed model suitable for mastoidectomy training using entry level and commercially available print technologies, enabling individuals, without prior experience on 3D-printing, to manufacture their own models for basic temporal bone training.

METHODS: Expert technical professionals and an experienced otosurgeon identified the best material for replicating the temporal bone and created a cost-effective printing routine for the model using entry-level print technologies. Eleven participants at a temporal bone dissection course evaluated the model using a questionnaire.

RESULTS: The 3D-printed temporal bone model was printed using a material extrusion 3D-printer with a heat resistant filament, reducing melting during drilling. After printing, a few simple post-processing steps were designed to replicate the dura, sigmoid sinus and facial nerve. Modifying the 3D-printer by installing a direct-drive and ruby nozzle resulted in more successful prints and less need for maintenance. Upon evaluation by otorhinolaryngology trainees, unanimous feedback was that the model provided a good introduction to the mastoidectomy procedure, and supplementing practice to cadaveric temporal bones.

CONCLUSION: In-house production of a cost-effective 3D-printed model for temporal bone training is feasible and enables training institutions to manufacture their own models. Further, this work demonstrates the feasibility of creating new temporal bone models with anatomical variation to provide ample training opportunity.

Original languageEnglish
Journal3D printing in medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2023


Dive into the research topics of '3D-printing a cost-effective model for mastoidectomy training'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this