Anatomical Science International

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 158–162 | Cite as

A composite 3D printed model of the midcarpal joint

  • Rajendran KanagasuntheramEmail author
  • Nigel Keong Teck Geh
  • Ching Chiuan Yen
  • S. Thameem Dheen
  • Boon Huat Bay
Method Paper


Three-dimensional (3D) printing has recently been developed as a resource for teaching human anatomy through the accurate reproduction of anatomical specimens. Using a composite 3D printed model with the incorporation of metal and magnets, we were able to demonstrate and analyse movements at the midcarpal joint during the ‘dart thrower’s motion’, which is an important motion in daily activities involving the use of the hand. The hand component with the distal row of carpal bones was subjected to flexion and extension at the midcarpal joint and observed for simultaneous abduction/adduction. Notable adduction was observed in the flexed position as compared to the extended position. Moreover, while the primary movements at the midcarpal joint were taking place in the medial part of the joint, the lateral part of the joint (which is ellipsoid) served to accommodate the arc of movement. We suggest that such composite 3D printed models are useful teaching tools for enhancing the understanding of complex joint movements.


Anatomy Hand joints Anatomic models Movements 3D printing 



This work was supported by the NUSMed Strategic Grant C-181-000-059-001 from the National University of Singapore. The authors would like to thank Ms Jieying Lee, Keio-NUS CUTE Center, Smart Systems Institute (National University of Singapore) for technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Anatomists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajendran Kanagasuntheram
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nigel Keong Teck Geh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ching Chiuan Yen
    • 2
  • S. Thameem Dheen
    • 1
  • Boon Huat Bay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Divison of Industrial Design, School of Design and EnvironmentNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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