Date of Award

Summer 8-14-2023

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Christopher V. Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Saige Kelmelis

Third Advisor

Prof. Scott Druecker


3D Printing, 3D Modelling, Anatomy, CT, Education

Subject Categories

Integrative Biology


As access to affordable 3D printing technologies increases, the use of Computed Tomography (CT) technologies is well positioned to contribute to the advancement of pedagogical experiences through the creation of physical models for teaching. Such complementary efforts may enhance broader impacts by simultaneously boosting the education system with a unique hands-on experience for students and providing an alternative to expensive osteological and other artificial models. Two 3D printed skull puzzles were created to aid in teaching human and vertebrate anatomy, and comparative osteology courses. After segmenting all the bones from each respective skull, the individual skeletal elements were 3D printed, dip-dyed, and magnets were attached to create disarticulated skulls, enhancing the overall learning experience. The models were presented to two undergraduate courses. A survey asked students to self-identify their learning style and their perspective of the presented model as a new learning resource. All participants regardless of learning style found the presented model to be a valuable resource for future use in the classroom. Following additional refinement, these models will be broadly disseminated to educators worldwide by uploading them to an open access online database with instructions on preparing the 3D puzzles.



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