Th is report provides a concise overview of the rendering and utilization of three-dimensional models in the fi eld of anatomy. Anatomical three-dimensional virtual models are widely used for educational purposes, preoperative planning, and surgical simulations because they simply allow for interactive three-dimensional navigation across the human organs or entire body. Virtual threedimensional models have been recently fabricated as accurate replicas of the anatomical structures thanks to advances in rapid prototyping technology.
The anatomy of the human temporal bone is complex and, therefore, poses unique challenges for students. Furthermore, temporal bones are frequently damaged from handling in educational settings due to their inherent fragility. This report details the production of a durable physical replica of the adult human temporal bone, manufactured using 3D printing technology. The physical replica was printed from a highly accurate virtual 3D model generated from CT scans of an isolated temporal bone. Both the virtual and physical 3D models accurately reproduced the surface anatomy of the temporal bone. Therefore, virtual and physical 3D models of the temporal bone can be used for educational purposes in order to supplant the use of damaged or otherwise fragile human temporal bones.