News Release

ETRI leads international standardization of the medical 3D printing and 3D scanning

Preparing 5 essential international standards for the development of patient-tailored medical devices. Establishing 3D scanning standard working group and leading the next generation of data-based biohealth

Reports and Proceedings

National Research Council of Science & Technology

ETRI_International standards for medical 3D printing and 3d scanning_1

image: Research team of ETRI discussing about the process of medical 3D standard view more 

Credit: Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)

Korean researchers are taking the lead in developing international standards for medical 3D printing and 3D scanning, which are essential for creating customized medical devices for each patient. If this standard is developed, it is expected to be of great help in promoting public health, revitalizing the related medical equipment industry, but also spreading digital twins and metaverse.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced that three new international standard development tasks for 『Medical Image Based Medical 3D Printing Modeling』were approved and a working group for 3D scanning standard development was also established. Two related international standards, which began development in 2019, are about to be finalized.

This has further strengthened Korea's leadership in international standards for medical 3D printing and 3D scanning. Also, it is evaluated to have laid the foundation for a leap forward as a global digital powerhouse by laying the foundation for expansion into construction, manufacturing, national defense, aviation, culture and art, and reverse engineering.

The three newly adopted standardization items are ▲Standard evaluation process for precision/accuracy evaluation in the manufacturing process of medical 3D printing implants based on standard CT images ▲Precision/accuracy error evaluation method in the human tissue segmentation stage and 3D modeling stage ▲ The standard operating procedure for creating a data set.

Medical 3D printing is a technology that uses the patient's medical image information to make customized surgical devices, implantable medical devices, and pre-simulation tools. It is used to make implants and prostheses that fit the patient's facial skeleton.

Until now, to prepare medical equipment suitable for the patient's condition, printing models had to be made by hand. This is because it is not easy to clearly distinguish the tissue parts in the image. It took a long time to produce, so there were many restrictions in an urgent situation, and it was difficult to use data from other medical staff because there was no standard plan.

When this standard is completed, the research team expects to be able to evaluate the precision/accuracy with standardized procedures and methods for medical 3D printing modeling software, which will be of great help in domestic and overseas medical 3D printing software licensing.

The design time can also be reduced from 24 hours to around 3 hours. Comprehensive quality control is also easy. Above all, when it will be commercialized, it is expected to help establish a new medical paradigm, such as predicting treatment effects and prescribing optimal drug through virtual simulation based on personal health data.

Experts from the US FDA, RSNA, and DICOM are also expected to participate in this standardization work, so it is expected to have a big ripple effect on the medical and related industries.

The research team have been developing standards for surgical 3D printing modeling and artificial intelligence-based automation since 2019, and are set to enact two standards at the end of this year. The three new proposals this time contain an additional precision/accuracy core evaluation system and method.

ETRI established a working group (AHG-3) for the development of 3D scanning standards and held its first meeting on the June 16th. The working group will discover international standard issues linking 3D scanning and 3D printing in the future, develop technical reports and establish an international standardization roadmap.

Hyung-jun Kim, head of ETRI’s Intelligent Convergence Research Institute, said, "It is very meaningful to develop more than 5 medical 3D printings essential for patient-tailored medical care led by Korea, establish a 3D scanning group, and lead the core international standards that can lead to digital twins and metaverse“

Based on this achievement, ETRI is planning to expand international standards to cover various industrial fields by collecting additional opinions from industry-academic institutions related to medical 3D printing and 3D scanning.

ETRI has been promoting the establishment of a committee to lead the international standardization of 3D printing and scanning since 2015, and established Working Group (WG) 12 in August 2018 and is leading the international standardization of the medical field by collaborating with domestic and foreign experts.


This research was conducted as a part of 『Development of International Standard for Evaluation Technology on Automatic Modeling of 3D Printed Implants』 project that is supported by a number of Korea ministry.


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