This 3D model provides a view of the isolated brainstem anatomy from the midbrain to the medulla oblongata, and compliments the other diencephalon/brainstem 3D model in our series.
Rostrally, the 3D model has been sectioned at an angle from the overlying diencephalon while retaining the mamillary bodies of the hypothalamus between the cerebral peduncles (anteriorly) and the pineal gland/epithalamus (posteriorly). Posteriorly, the corpora quadrigemina (the collective superior and inferior colliculi) of the midbrain are prominent adjacent to the superior cerebellar peduncles. The cerebellum itself has been removed, leaving the cross-section of the middle and inferior cerebellar peduncles on each side. Inferior to the sectioned peduncles is the partially opened fourth ventricle and remnants of the posterior inferior cerebellar arteries.
On the ventral aspect of the 3D model the pons is preserved with the origin of the trigeminal nerve (CN V) preserved (particularly on the left side). Inferior to the pons on the medulla oblongata, both the pyramids and olives are visible on both sides (particularly clear on the right).
Advantages of 3D Printed Anatomical Models
- 3D printed anatomical models are the most anatomically accurate examples of human anatomy because they are based on real human specimens.
- Avoid the ethical complications and complex handling, storage, and documentation requirements with 3D printed models when compared to human cadaveric specimens.
- 3D printed anatomy models are far less expensive than real human cadaveric specimens.
- Reproducibility and consistency allow for standardization of education and faster availability of models when you need them.
- Customization options are available for specific applications or educational needs. Enlargement, highlighting of specific anatomical structures, cutaway views, and more are just some of the customizations available.
Disadvantages of Human Cadavers
- Access to cadavers can be problematic and ethical complications are hard to avoid. Many countries cannot access cadavers for cultural and religious reasons.
- Human cadavers are costly to procure and require expensive storage facilities and dedicated staff to maintain them. Maintenance of the facility alone is costly.
- The cost to develop a cadaver lab or plastination technique is extremely high. Those funds could purchase hundreds of easy to handle, realistic 3D printed anatomical replicas.
- Wet specimens cannot be used in uncertified labs. Certification is expensive and time-consuming.
- Exposure to preservation fluids and chemicals is known to cause long-term health problems for lab workers and students. 3D printed anatomical replicas are safe to handle without any special equipment.
- Lack of reuse and reproducibility. If a dissection mistake is made, a new specimen has to be used and students have to start all over again.
Disadvantages of Plastinated Specimens
- Like real human cadaveric specimens, plastinated models are extremely expensive.
- Plastinated specimens still require real human samples and pose the same ethical issues as real human cadavers.
- The plastination process is extensive and takes months or longer to complete. 3D printed human anatomical models are available in a fraction of the time.
- Plastinated models, like human cadavers, are one of a kind and can only showcase one presentation of human anatomy.
Advanced 3D Printing Techniques for Superior Results
- Vibrant color offering with 10 million colors
- UV-curable inkjet printing
- High quality 3D printing that can create products that are delicate, extremely precise, and incredibly realistic
- To improve durability of fragile, thin, and delicate arteries, veins or vessels, a clear support material is printed in key areas. This makes the models robust so they can be handled by students easily.