Organs in Color: Utilizing Free Software and Emerging Multi Jet Fusion Technology to Color and Surface Label 3D-Printed Anatomical Models

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of digital imaging




3D model; Anatomy; Color 3D printing; Surface labeling


3D printing (3DP) is a rapidly evolving innovative technology that has already been utilized for the development of educational anatomic models. Until recently, it was difficult and tedious to create multi-colored models and especially labels due to technological constraints. In this technical note, a comprehensive guide for creating labeled and color-coded anatomic models was created using free software, Blender. We have composed a step-by-step process for taking an existing 3D model and adding labeling and color that is compatible with modern high-quality 3D printing technologies (Multi Jet Fusion). We provided colored and labeled 3D renderings of the surface anatomy of the brain, ventricular system of the brain, the segments of the liver, and coronary arteries as examples of the diverse potential of this technology. Additionally, we 3D printed actual models of the surface anatomy of the brain and ventricles of the brain using HP Multi Jet Fusion to demonstrate the potential of this technology in the creation of anatomic models.