3D Lab Groningen A new era of personalized, patient-specific care. Facility
We are experts in 3D technology in research and patient care performing research from the 'virtual bench to bed'. In our 3D lab we aim to apply 3D technology into patient care. By combining high-tech health expertise and latest technological developments we strive for better, more precise and personalized care.

It is a creative working place where clinicians meet 3D technology experts to develop ideas that will serve our patients. Students from biomedical & technical universities are stimulated to bring their newly learned skills and creativity to the lab and develop their own ideas.

Our research programmes are:

  • 3D virtual planning in surgery;​​​​​
  • Fast track development of personalized implants;
  • Artificial Intelligence and Augmented reality.

Orthopedic Surgery

The orthopedic surgeons perform scoliosis surgery with the help of 3D virtual planning and patient-specific guides. In this field, 3D technology is also used for the design and fabrication of patient-specific antibiotic loaded cement spacers, that replace prosthesis after infections. In addition to surgical accessories, it is also possible to produce patient specific implants. Watch the video about complex spine surgical planning.


Develop your idea into 3D reality

Our 3D lab helps you to develop your idea into 3D reality. We have experience in developing diagnostic 3D visualization, designing implants or other types medical devices for procedures or individual patients. We particularly have a lot of experience in post treatment outcome measures in 3D.

  • We provide the following expertise and services:

    • Patient specific 3D visualization based on medical imaging (e.g. CT, MRI, PET, Echo or a combination)
    • Virtual Surgical Planning including the definition of e.g. osteotomies, drilling, fixation and tumour delineation
    • Patient specific Medical Device Design and Development (e.g. Groningen TMJ prosthesis, Cranioplasty, Oncologic Reconstruction)
    • Support in translational research
    • Post-operative evaluation of surgical procedures
    • (Pre)Clinical validation of new technology
    • Application of Augmented reality in surgery
    • Application of Artificial Intelligence in Surgical Planning
    • Education and Training for medical staff
  • Our lab uses medically certified software and devices for our patient care. These tools allow visualization and virtual surgical planning as well as post-treatment quantification of outcomes. The 3D lab collaborates with the UMCG Research BV which operates the 3D printers (FDM, PLLA, resin) for 3D printed models.

Patients benefit from visualization or virtual surgical planning

The 3D lab started in 2014, inspired by the vision that the use of advanced 3D technology in visualization, 3D virtual surgical planning and 3D printing will be of great benefit in our daily care.

Within 5 years after the start over 1200 patients treated at UMCG benefited from 3D visualization or virtual surgical planning from the 3D lab. Another 200 patients treated at hospitals in the northern three provinces benefited from our expertise via the northern 3D clinical network, initiated in 2018.

​​​​Visit our website

  • Students

    The 3D lab is a creative environment where students are actively involved in projects within the lab. We continuously harbor students from the Biomedical, Technical and Computer Sciences from the RUG or TU Twente. The 3D lab is accessible for personal and registered students enrolled in an active internship only.


    Students are given an introduction at the start of their internship, whereafter an informed consent has to be signed. The informed consent contains, among other things, rules how to handle research as well as clinical data. As equipment and software licenses are limited, the most important rule is that clinical work always comes first.

    • Instructions and training will be provided by assigned instructors;
    • Training by other parties does not count;
    • After training and signing the informed consent, the manager will provide you access to the 3D lab

    Please find our find our contact details below.

  • 3D virtual planning in surgery

    One of the challenges in surgery is to predict the outcome of a treatment. Before the introduction of 3D technology a surgeon could not compare the outcome of surgery to a pre-operative plan. Now with 3D technology we can make a 3D pre-operative plan and design tools like 3D printed surgical cutting guides and patient specific plates that support the operation. Afterwards we compare the outcome of surgery and quantify the accuracy of certain procedures. The aim is to make surgery less surgeon dependent and promote the adagium “plan your operation and operate your plan”.

    Fast track development of personalized implants

    The philosophy of the 3D lab is that implant design and production should be made possible to fit the demands of certain clinical challenges. Therefore a quick supply of 3D printed surgical cutting guides or patient specific implants. We are working with companies that are able to produce fast (within days) to open up 3D technology for complex acute trauma care.

    Artificial Intelligence and Augmented reality

    At the 3D lab experimental work is performed using state of the art technology in processing data as well as visualization. We use deep learning strategies to improve and speed up our processes and incorporate data-driven decision making in the daily clinical practice as the standard. To support clinicians with the desired information, we are using augmented reality technology combined with navigational surgical devices. In selected cases patient-education is supported with AR to understand certain aspects of their treatment.

3D animation videos

  • In the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery 3D technology is used frequently in daily practice.

    Watch the video

    Createch Osteosynthese Maxilla
  • A cranioplasty is a surgical procedure used to correct a defect in a bone of the skull. The defect might be congenital, the result of trauma to the head or a complication from an earlier surgery.

    Watch the video

  • The Groningen TMJ prosthesis replaces the jaw-joint completely. This new version of the Groningen TMJ Prosthesis is fully customized to the patients’ anatomy.

    Watch the video

  • The orthopedic surgeons perform scoliosis surgery with the help of 3D virtual planning and patient-specific guides.

    Watch the video

  • A patient specific implant to fixate fragments of a fractured pelvis.

    Watch the video

  • Based on CT and MRI images a complete 3D model of bone and tumor is made. This is the base for the 3D oncologic treatment planning.

    Watch the video



Dr Joep Kraeima
Dr Max Witjes


UMCG 3D-lab BB70
Postbus 30.001
9700 RB Groningen
The Netherlands

Location: S3. 127, 3rd floor