Three-dimensional (3D) printing or additive manufacturing, is a relatively recent and rapidly evolving technology that has a far-reaching impact in the current context of medical education. Since its introduction in the 1980s, additive manufacturing has made tremendous progress. In essence, this technology render a computer-assisted design template based on a set of processed data acquired from various imaging sources such as 3D scanning, computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), into a physical object which is an accurate representation of the original. The printing is constructed in layers using a diverse array of printing materials. The process is fast, easy, cost-effective, and repeatable. The scopes of application of 3D-printing are increasing by the day with limitless potential in future. Proper implementation of 3D printing with respect to its availability and accessibility will establish it as a perfect complementary modality to the traditional teaching and learning approaches. In this review paper, the concept of 3D printing, its use in medical education, surgical training, patient interaction, potential benefits and shortcomings, and future scope are highlighted.
Three-dimensional (3D) Printing, Additive manufacturing, Medical education, Surgical training.