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3D printing

Access to highly accurate 3D models enhances the planning of complex treatments, enables the design of bespoke implants and improves client understanding.

3D printing for veterinary medicine

The 3D prints are created from a CT scan of the patient. The CT is performed in a specific manner to generate high quality images and a 3D model is created by manipulating the data in a certain way.

Various materials can be used for the models and we select the best material for the type of anatomy and pathology you wish to print. For example, all of our orthopaedic prints can be drilled, screwed, plated, sterilised and are also suitable for radiography. Prints are highly accurate and can be made to true size or scaled as you prefer.

How does our 3D printing service work?

  1. Perform the CT scan.
  2. Send images to VetCT as DICOM files.
  3. We will export the original DICOM file data into a suitable object file format.
  4. We then apply specific modifications to the data to make the file ready for high quality printing.
  5. The object is then built up in layers of nylon powder where the cross sections are melted by a laser.
  6. These layers of melted nylon powder then harden to form the finished object.
  7. The time taken for the process varies depending on the object size, shape and material.
  8. We send you the 3D print via mail or courier service as you prefer.

Examples of veterinary applications


  • Complex treatment planning such as for femoral/ tibial torsions, angular limb deformities, patellar luxation
  • Fracture assessment, implant sizing and pre-contouring plates
  • Complex arthodesis planning
  • Hip replacement planning
  • Print of inverted normal limb for comparison

Soft tissue surgery

  • Portosystemic shunts -surgical and interventional radiology planning
  • Planning surgery for vascular ring anomalies and other vascular malformations
  • Reconstructive surgery


  • Assessment of margins and treatment planning
  • Radiation planning
  • Demonstrating results of radical surgery to an owner


  • Anatomy teaching for veterinary students
  • Practicing and perfecting complex procedures
  • Client education and communication

Advanced technology

  • Creation of bespoke implants, surgical instruments or templates
  • Multi-material models (eg. soft tissue mass and adjacent bone)
  • Prints with markers to show margins, surgical planes, sites for implant placement
  • Models to fill large defects eg. tortoise carapace, skull defects after trauma

For more information

For more information about how to request 3D printing from your VetCT account or if you don’t have a VetCT clinic account yet, please get in touch.

Contact us