Formulation of Bone-Like Filament for Surgical Models Printing

Problem Statement

Medical surgeons and trainees are currently using cadaveric bones for realistic surgical training and workshops. Cadaveric bones are limited in supply, expensive and difficult to properly maintain and store. There’s a need to develop cost-effective bone-like 3D Printed anatomical models to replace cadaveric bones during training and workshops.


This project aims to develop an FDM system-agnostic bone-like 3D printing filaments for surgical models printing. Printed anatomical bone models will have the look and feel of the actual bone. The medical industry (hospitals, medical schools, and biomedical companies) will benefit by obtaining realistic anatomical bone models for training and workshops at a more affordable price compared to cadaveric bones.

Anatomical models printed using RP’s bone-like filament
Anatomical models printed using RP’s bone-like filament

Key Benefits/Outcomes

  • Successfully developed the formulation and process to produce bone-like filament.
  • New filament achieved good mechanical properties (~80% improvement in tensile strength) compared to the commercial bone-like filament.
  • The printed bone models received good feedback from clinicians that the models feel realistic to drill and cut. The models can tighten the screws nicely just like the real bone.
  • NUH has planned on evaluating 30 orbital models for surgical workshop training.
  • Licensing discussion with industry collaborator is on-going.




Mr. Marc Lee