A growing number of studies demonstrate the benefits of 3D printing in improving surgical efficiency and subsequently clinical outcomes. However, the number of studies evaluating the accuracy of 3D printing techniques remains scarce. All publications appraising the accuracy of 3D printing between 1950 and 2018 were reviewed using well-established databases, including PubMed, Medline, Web of Science and Embase. An validation study of our 3D printing technique was undertaken using unprocessed chicken radius bones (). Calculating its maximum length, we compared the measurements from computed tomography (CT) scans (CT group), image segmentation (SEG group) and 3D-printed (3DP) models (3DP group). Twenty-eight comparison studies in 19 papers have been identified. Published mean error of CT-based 3D printing techniques were 0.46 mm (1.06%) in stereolithography, 1.05 mm (1.78%) in binder jet technology, 0.72 mm (0.82%) in PolyJet technique, 0.20 mm (0.95%) in fused filament fabrication (FFF) and 0.72 mm (1.25%) in selective laser sintering (SLS). In the current validation study, mean errors were 0.34 mm (0.86%) in CT group, 1.02 mm (2.51%) in SEG group and 1.16 mm (2.84%) in 3DP group. Our Peninsula 3D printing technique using a FFF 3D printer thus produced accuracy similar to the published studies (1.16 mm, 2.84%). There was a statistically significant difference (P<10) between the CT group and the latter SEG and 3DP groups indicating that most of the error is introduced during image segmentation stage.
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