Engineers saved a baby's life by printing the missing part of her skull

A 3D printer saved a baby's life.
Nergis Firtina
3D Printed Skull
3D Printed Skull


  • A baby in Poland with a missing skull was saved with 3D printing technology.
  • Surgeons used 3D-printed models to visualize and prepare for urgent surgery.
  • The 3D model was produced in one day for a baby girl who had four days to live.

Brain surgeries might be quite complex operations many times. If the surgery will be operated on a baby or a child, it is a more challenging process. However, in Rzeszow, Poland, the surgeons achieved produced a skull from a 3D printer for a newborn baby who was born with a fifth of her skull.

A Warsaw technology company specializing in 3D printing called Sygnis has helped and saved the life of a newborn baby with a critically underdeveloped cranium by printing the exact model of the baby's skull in one day.

If the surgery were not planned within four days, the baby would be open to all kinds of infections.

The lifesaving 1:1 model of the newborn's skull followed an urgent request for help from surgeons at the Upper Silesian Centre of Child Health and doctors at the enable Polska Foundation.

Engineers saved a baby's life by printing the missing part of her skull
3D printing in SLA technology

All projects stopped to save the baby

As Sygnis reported, after the project file came to them, two engineers started to print the 3D skull model required for the baby. The company also stated that they didn't want to put the baby at risk, so they used two different technologies:

  • The first model was prepared in SLS technology (selective laser sintering) - realized on a Sinterit Lisa Pro 3D printer from PA12 powder. Execution time - 24 hours.
  • The second model in SLA technology (printing technology consisting of hardening photosensitive resins layer by layer) - is made on the FlashForge Photo 8.9sz 3D printer, the standard resin in white. Execution time - 8 hours.

Sygnis also stopped all 3D printing projects to save the baby's life and finished the baby's skull project in 26 hours.

SLA and SLS Printing technology

The choice of resin technology (SLA) on the FlashForge Photo 8.9s 3D printer was used to quickly obtain an illustrative printout for evaluation by specialists before printing in SLS technology. On the other hand, the SLS technology, SLS technology, and polyamide (PA12) printing to 3D print the model for preoperative surgical exercises. Powder technology enables 3D printing without the use of support structures, which in turn allows for the perfect reproduction of geometrically complex bone structures.

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