3D printed prototype of a transportation tray used in production lines ​


Case study

3D printed rib implanted in the human body


Tokuda Hospital in Sofia is the largest medical facility in Bulgaria employing about 1000 medical specialists.


A 35-year-old patient was diagnosed with a deformity around the fifth, right rib accompanied by swelling and pain.


Studies have shown that the best solution would be to remove the deformed rib and replace it with an implant, because of the risk that the patient’s disease will expand. 

Why 3D printing?

Physicians decided on 3D printing technology because it guarantees perfect reproduction of the shape of the original rib in terms of its thickness and bending.

In this case, the absolute dimensional accuracy of the implant was required. The use of a 3D printer as a tool allowed the reconstruction of the rib in the 1:1 scale based on a scan of the deformed bone of the patient. 


1. Implantation of a 3D print in the human body

The basis for implant placement was that the rib was anatomically fitted to other chest wall structures to ensure proper restoration. Before the operation, 3 mm holes were drilled in the 3D printing to facilitate regeneration and rapid renewal of the connective tissue.

Replacing the missing rib with a 3D printed segment of the same shape, curve, width, and thickness was possible using a 3DGence 3D printer.

2. Rib sterilization process

The rib implant made with the use of 3D printing technology was properly sterilized in ethylene oxide. The 3D printout was also subjected to sterilization using gamma radiation and steam at 140 °C.

On the left side - surgeon. On the righ side - patient.
Rib sterilization process before implantation.

Products we used

Nylon 680 Taulman

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