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Cardiac 3D Print Lab

Research Institute

Phoenix Children’s, in collaboration with the Image Processing Applications Laboratory at Arizona State University, offers our patients the latest in 3D printing to assist with surgical planning and family consultation. Our Cardiac 3D Print Lab is one of the first of its kind to bring this technology to patient care.

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is the process of creating a solid, three-dimensional object from a digital file. The printer deposits layers of a material (like plastic, resin or metal) until the object is complete.

How it helps patients

Researchers at Phoenix Children’s Hospital produce patient-specific 3D printed models. The resulting 3D print is an accurate representation of a patient’s anatomy, and one that surgeons and physicians can use for surgical planning, family consultation and medical education.

Thanks to the powerful technology of 3D printing, our expert surgeons can review and evaluate a patient’s heart in three-dimensional form before ever setting foot in the operating room. This leads to life-saving results for patients.

Highlights of our lab

  • The Cardiac 3D Print Lab has collaborated with more than 15 institutions spanning six countries. 
  • Heart models are brought to the University of Arizona College of Medicine to help teach future doctors and surgeons. 
  • Dr. Stephen Pophal was awarded $75,000 in a 2012 Leadership Circle Grant to purchase a 3D printer and establish the joint Arizona State University/Phoenix Children’s Hospital Cardiac 3D Print Lab. He was also awarded $59,000 in a 2014 Leadership Circle Grant to create libraries of 3D heart models to improve family-centered care and medical education outreach. 
  • The lab has produced models for ears, skeletal structures, blood vessels, medical devices and brains.
  • To date, the Cardiac 3D Print Lab has printed over 260 hearts for surgical planning, medical education and family consultation.

We need your help

We don't charge families when a model is used for surgical planning or family consultation. The Cardiac 3D Print Lab is supported by generous grants and caring people like you, and our developing laboratory needs your support. Click here if you’d like to donate to this groundbreaking and life-saving technology. Thank you for helping to bring healing to children everywhere.

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