Background Rhinoplasty relies on clear patient communication and precise execution of a three-dimensional (3D) plan to achieve optimal results. As 3D imaging and printing continue to grow in popularity within the medical field, rhinoplasty surgeons have begun to leverage these resources as an aid to preoperative planning, patient communication, and the technical performance of this challenging operation. Objectives Utilizing departmentally available resources and open-access 3D imaging platforms, we have developed an affordable, reproducible protocol for rapid in-house virtual surgical planning (VSP) and subsequent manufacture of 3D-printed rhinoplasty models. Methods Preoperative 3D photographic images underwent virtual rhinoplasty using a freely available 3D imaging and sculpting program (Blender TM [Version 2.78, Amsterdam, The Netherlands]). Once the ideal postoperative result was digitally achieved, scaled, sterilizable, and patient-specific 3D models of the preoperative and ideal postoperative result were manufactured in-house using a departmentally owned 3D printer. Results 3D-printed models have successfully been manufactured and employed for 12 patients undergoing rhinoplasty. The average time to prepare a set of pre- and postoperative models was 3 hours, while the printing process required 18 to 24 hours per model. Each set of surgical models can be manufactured at a total materials cost of approximately 5.00. Conclusions We describe an affordable means to construct sterilizable, scaled, patient-specific 3D-printed models for rhinoplasty. This technique may become of increasing interest to academic and cosmetic centers as hardware costs of 3D printers continue to fall.
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