How to 3D Print a solid Vestibular Apparatus Model

3D Model - Printed

Here at Vestibular First, we are excited to share our knowledge and passion for the anatomy that makes up the vestibular system!  Combining this knowledge with technology is at the heart of our company.  There are only a limited amount of high-quality 3D models of the inner ear available, and none that are specific to the vestibular apparatus–so we re-mixed and re-modeled some publicly available models to suit the needs of educators, clinicians, and educators.

The 3D model used for our project is based off the work of the University of Dundee School of Medicine.  Please check out their project on Sketchfab and explore the full model of the inner ear!

If you don’t want to go through all the trouble, you can purchase a vestibular apparatus model to support the research efforts of our company to produce affordable and effective vestibular technologies.

Step 1

Find 3D printer or 3D printer service

You will need access to a machine that has a print-size of at least 120mm (l) x  120mm (w) x 120mm (h) (4.7″ x 4.7″ x 4.7″).    If you aren’t able to find one, check out a service like 3D Hubs

Step 2

Download the model

We have published our models on a 3D design site called Thingiverse which allows people to collaborate and connect on projects.  Please visit the Vestibular First 3D Models page to view this and our other 3D models.

Step 3

Print the ball maze

Each printer and filament is different, however, here are our general recommendations.  Your mileage may vary–so use these settings as just a starting point:

  • Layer Height: 0.25mm
  • Infill: 50%
  • First Layer Height: 150%

Step 4

Sand the print (optional)

For the smoothest version, it is recommended to sand the print starting with 80 grit, then finishing with 120 grit.  There are multiple ways to smooth out this model in post-production, but these are generally not necessary for an effective educational tool.