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Model of sphenoid bone.

College of Medicine adds 3D printer

Donation to help students and faculty with research and instruction

Contact: Gary H. Piatek


​Central Michigan University's College of Medicine now has a 3D printer that literally will give students a new way to look at things.

The printer will be used largely to produce models for the anatomy laboratory. However, students also will get some exposure to 3D printing in radiology and surgery, said Robert Petersen, professor of cell biology, genetics and neuroscience. 

While anatomy labs can provide students with access to most structures, some are too small, such as the small bones of the middle ear, or inaccessible, such as the sphenoid bone in the base of the skull, said Karen Poole, an assistant professor of anatomy in the college.

The new 3D printer, a donation from Mike Metro and Meemic Insurance Co. in Mount Pleasant, enables models to be made of otherwise inaccessible various structures to augment laboratory instruction.

Cut-Model-of-sphenoid-bone.jpg

The new printer created this 3D model of the tiny sphenoid bone, which is at the base of a person’s skull. 

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