3D Printing Enhances Healthcare Training with Hands-On Learning

10.19.2023 | Credentialing

The early days of 3D printing were focused on prototyping. With advancements in technology, including enhanced speed, accuracy, and the ability to utilize high-quality materials, 3D printing now holds potential applications across virtually every industry. An exciting project at Macomb Community College demonstrates how 3D printing enhances healthcare training.

3D Printing In The Classroom: Macomb Community College

The college was interested in bringing state of the art hands-on learning into their Health Sciences and Veterinary Technician Program. After connecting with Stratasys at a tradeshow, the college worked with Integrated SystemsTechnologies (IST) to acquire and set up a J750 Digital Anatomy 3D Printing System. IST is a strategic education partner of many world leading manufacturing companies. IST’s goal is to help bring advanced technology training to life by helping schools acquire industry-grade equipment. IST helped Macomb Community College choose the right printer for their program needs and assisted with finding a technician with the right mix of skills to operate such an advanced system specific to healthcare applications.

Equipped with a state-of-the-art printer, the program can customize anatomical models for hands-on learning in the classroom. Students are

  • Examining lifelike organ models based on MRI scans
  • Learning how to suture with realistic 3D models that mimic real tissue
  • Practicing complicated procedures with pre-surgical training models

The school is looking forward to partnering with local hospitals and other education institutions to print anatomical models to enhance all types of procedures. Doctors and nurses could use models for patient education, to practice complex techniques, or to identify a solution for a previously inoperable procedure.

A Credential That Fills A Skills Gap

With the numerous innovative solutions 3D printing offers, there is a demand for skill validation through certification and the need for continued collaboration between education and industry. The Stratasys new Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Certification, developed in partnership with NOCTI, represents a pivotal advancement in validating skills and identifying skilled talent within the 3D printing industry. Based on the latest technology, this credential helps to align industry and education by validating learners have the skills and knowledge to be successful in this highly advanced industry.

In response to customer feedback that identified a critical shortage of skilled technicians for operating 3D printers, Stratasys began the development of educational materials. The training material included quizzes, activities, videos, and presentations, providing valuable resources for instructors to train new technicians. The material was well received and began garnering interest from educational programs and technical colleges. But, before they could expand their educational programs, Stratasys needed a way to validate skills and selected NOCTI as a third-party credentialing partner. Jesse Roitenberg, National Education Sales Manager at Stratasys said, “We chose NOCTI not only because they’re experts in their field, but also because they hold their work to the highest standard.”

FDM is the process of layering material to create a physical object to create parts with complex geometrices and internal cavities. The certification measures:

  • Industries and Applications
  • Technology and Specifications
  • Materials
  • Design and Fabrication
  • Software Processing and Communication
  • Post-Processing

FDM is a widely used additive manufacturing process popular in middle and high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. With the increasing demand for certification, Stratasys plans to develop credentials for additional technologies like PolyJet and for specific sectors like medical devices or dental modeling.

“Having a credential from an accredited third party is a game changer for us,” says Roitenberg. “We’ve always been innovators in the world of 3D printing, but now we have an unbiased way to validate that students who finish a program and pass the assessment are equipped with industry-relevant skills and are ready for exciting careers in additive manufacturing. We are so excited to have NOCTI in our corner and can’t wait to work with them again.”

Aligning Industry and Education

NOCTI is proud to work with industry partners like Stratasys to create industry-driven credentials. Aligning industry and education is pivotal in ensuring students are equipped with the relevant skills for success in their chosen careers. As a national leader in CTE credentialing solutions and resources, NOCTI has been a valuable and dedicated partner to the CTE community’s efforts to improve America’s workforce for over 55 years.

Wondering if our creative learning solutions are a good fit for your program? Contact us to learn more about how we can help or explore the services section of our website.

About Stratasys

Stratasys is leading the global shift to additive manufacturing with innovative 3D printing solutions for industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products, and health care. Through smart and connected 3D printers, polymer materials, a software ecosystem, and parts on demand, Stratasys solutions deliver competitive advantages at every stage in the product value chain


NOCTI is the leading provider of industry credentials and resources for CTE programs with more than 55 years of experience in developing, managing, and delivering credential programs to improve and advance the technical education community.