Scientific publications

3D printing in neurosurgery: a specific model for patients with craniosynostosis

Jul 27, 2017 | Magazine: Neurocirugía

Jiménez Ormabera B (1), Díez Valle R (2), Zaratiegui Fernández J (3), Llorente Ortega M (4), Unamuno Iñurritegui X (4), Tejada Solís S (5).


Craniosynostosis is a rare condition and requires a personalised surgical approach, which is why we consider the use of 3D printed models beneficial in the surgical planning of this procedure.

Material and methods

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic skull models were designed and printed from CT images of patients between 3 and 6 months of age with craniosynostosis of different sutures. The models were used to simulate surgical procedures.


Four models of four patients with craniosynostosis were produced: two with closure of the metopic suture and two with sagittal suture closure. The mean age of the patients was 5 months (3-6m) and the mean duration of the surgery was 286min (127-380min).

The acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic models printed for the project proved to be optimal for the simulation of craniosynostosis surgeries, both anatomically and in terms of mechanical properties and reaction to surgical instruments.


3D printers have a wide range of medical applications and they offer an easy and affordable way to produce skull models. The acrylonitrile butadiene styrene material is suitable for the production of operable bone models as it faithfully reproduces the mechanical characteristics of bone tissue.

CITATION  Neurocirugia (Astur). 2017 Jun 27. pii: S1130-1473(17)30068-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neucir.2017.05.001