A Cancer Patient Just Got the World's First 3D-Printed Ribcage

A shiny new sternum for a 54-year-old is remarkable breakthrough.


An Australian company has 3D-printed the world’s first ribcage, and it has been successfully implanted into a cancer sufferer in Spain.

Twelve days after surgery, the patient has been discharged and is recovering well, according to CSIRO, the company that owns the $1.3 million Arcam printer that built the device.

A separate company, Anatomics, was called on to design the prosthesis. That team worked closely with the surgeons to create a digital reconstruction of the patient’s ribcage and figure out how best to build a replacement in titanium. “This part of the chest is notoriously tricky to recreate with prosthetics, due to the complex geometry and design required for each patient,” according to the CSIRO blog post.

The 54-year-old man had chest-wall sarcoma that was eating away at his ribcage. We imagine he’s chuffed to trade out his cancer-rotted bone for his spanking new, custom-made, internal coat of arms.