3D Printing in Medicine

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3D Printed replica of articular fractures for surgical planning and patient consent: a two years multi-centric experience

  • Nicola Bizzotto
  • Ivan Tami
  • Attilio Santucci
  • Roberto Adani
  • Paolo Poggi
  • Denis Romani
  • Guilherme Carpeggiani
  • Filippo Ferraro
  • Sandro Festa
  • Bruno Magnan
Case study



CT scanning with 3D reconstructed images are currently used to study articular fractures in orthopedic and trauma surgery. A 3D-Printer creates solid objects, starting from a 3D Computer representation.

Case Description

We report from two year of multicenter experience in 3D printing of articular fractures.

Discussion and Evaluation

During the study period, 102 patients (distal radius fractures, radial head, tibial plateau, astragalus, calcaneus, ankle, humeral head and glenoid) underwent 3D printing. The medical models were used by surgeons to appreciate the dislocation of fragments and the yielding of the articular surface. In addition, models were showed to patient as part of the acquisition of the informed consent before surgery.


3D printing of articular fractures are innovative procedures that achieve a preoperative tangible, highly useful evaluation of the fractures to plan intervention and educate patients.


Tibial Plateau Radial Head Distal Radius Fracture Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Articular Fracture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Authors’ contributions

NB: create the workflow to 3d print replicas of fractures. IT: contributed to test the replicas in clinical practice. AS: contributed to test the replicas in clinical practice. RA: contributed to test the replicas in clinical practice. PP: Contributed to create the models with radiologist supervision. DR: contributed to prepare the study and write the manuscript. GC: contributed to prepare the study and write the manuscript. FF: contributed to create the models (3d printer). SF: contributed to create the models (3d printer). BM: contributed to test the replicas in clinical practice. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ information

NB: Orthopaedic Trauma Hand Surgeon, working in a Private Sportclinic in Sudtirol (DOLOMITI SPORTCLINIC), Bolzano, Italy. He is the leader in Italy for the 3d printing replica of fractures.

IT: Hand Surgeon, CLINICA ARS MEDICA, Gravesano-Lugano, CH. He use 3D printed replica of distal radius fractures for surgical planning.

AS: Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, in VILLA STUART, FIFA MEDICAL CENTER PRIVATE CLINIC In Roma, uses the 3d replicas of articular fractures for percutaneous surgery.

RA: Chief of Hand Surgery Department, Modena, Italy. He use 3D printed replica of distal radius fractures for surgical planning.

DR, GC: residents at University hospital of Verona, using 3D model for education.

FF, SF: Engineers, working for a company. They help us to develop the best quality with gypsum for the models.

BM: Prof. Chief of University Hospital of Verona, using 3d replica for calcaneus fractures.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Bizzotto
    • 1
  • Ivan Tami
    • 2
  • Attilio Santucci
    • 3
  • Roberto Adani
    • 4
  • Paolo Poggi
    • 5
  • Denis Romani
    • 6
  • Guilherme Carpeggiani
    • 6
  • Filippo Ferraro
    • 7
  • Sandro Festa
    • 8
  • Bruno Magnan
    • 6
  1. 1.Orthopedic and Hand Surgery DepartmentDolomiti SportclinicOrtisei-BolzanoItaly
  2. 2.Centro manoegomitoClinica Ars MedicaGravesano - LuganoSwitzerland
  3. 3.Orthopedic DepartmentVilla Stuart, FIFA Medical CenterRomaItaly
  4. 4.Hand Surgery DepartmentUniversity Hospital of ModenaModenaItaly
  5. 5.Radiology DeparmentHospital of LodiLodiItaly
  6. 6.Orthopedic DeparmentUniversity Hospital of VeronaVeronaItaly
  7. 7.Tecs Italia Laboratory srl. Via A. Magio, 12Bassano del GrappaItaly
  8. 8.3DZ Industry: Via del Credito, 26/2, 3Castelfranco VenetoItaly

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