Printing thyroid gland and thyroid nodule plastic models on scale 1:1

In this video I show how to print a 3D plastic (PLA) model of a thyroid gland from a 2D thyroid ultrasound scan of a young teenager on scale 1:1. In Centro Palmer Medical Center (Reggio Emilia, Italy) where I work as an endocrinologist and a thyroid specialist, I use the PIUR tUS (tomographic ultrasound) Infinity device (first device in Italy by the time of the publication of this post) which is connected to our medical ultrasound machines. The PIUR tUS Infinity device captures the 2D ultrasound video images and converts them into 3D as already shown in a previous video. Thanks to the PIUR Infinity software I can get the .stl file from the 3D thyroid gland digital model. I use the simplify3d software to prepare the 3D thyroid model for printing and for obtaining the G-code. The G-code is inserted into my Creality Ender 3 pro 3D printer. The thyroid PLA model of this video was printed in approximately 1 hour. The thyroid PLA model is on scale 1:1 and is the exact copy of the patient’s thyroid.

In another video I show how to obtain a 3D digital model of a large, benign thyroid nodule from a 2D ultrasound scan by using the PIUR tUS Infinity device. After having obtained the .stl file, as explained before, I printed the 3D plastic model of this nodule thanks to the simplify3d software and to my Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D printer. My aim here is to study in a whole new way this thyroid nodule before treating it with radio-frequency ablation to shrink this lesion that causes pressure and cosmetic symptoms to the adult female patient.

As far as I know, this is the first time the above-mentioned technologies are combined in order to print a thyroid gland plastic model and a thyroid nodule plastic model on scale 1:1 from 2D ultrasound scans of real patients.

(The featured image shows the thyroid gland plastic model on the left and the thyroid nodule plastic nodule on the right)

Petros Tsamatropoulos, MD, Endocrinologist – Interventional Thyroidologist, Centro Palmer, Reggio Emilia, Italy,


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