Interview with Dr. Simon Enzinger: 3D Printed Anatomical Models for CMF Surgery

3D Printing Anatomical Models

Simon Enzinger graduated medicine 2003 and dentistry 2007 from the Medical University Innsbruck. He then joined the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery in Salzburg. Here he completed his training as an MKG surgeon. He was appointed senior physician in 2016 and has been managing senior physician at the University Hospital Salzburg since 2020. 

His main areas of expertise are tumor surgery, traumatology, microsurgery. He has been involved with technical innovations in maxillofacial surgery since 2007 and was, among other things, responsible for the development of the new surgical technique. He has been involved with technical innovations in maxillofacial surgery since 2007 and was, among other things, substantially involved in the implementation of the 1st 3D printer at the University Hospital Salzburg. Especially since the establishment of the Reference Center for Cleft patients and Craniofacial Anomalies, 3D printing has become an integral part of maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Enzinger will be joining us for the upcoming webinar “Advancements in 3D Printed Anatomical Modeling” focusing on “Advantages of 3D printed anatomical models in Maxillofacial and Craniofacial Surgery

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing?

Simon: My first encounter with 3D printing was at the University, the science lab got a 3D-printer and I was invited to use the 3D-printer for further clinical tests. I was very happy and also excited, to see the difference between the self-made models and the expensive industrial ordered models.

3D Printing Anatomical Models
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Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing ?

Simon: I was not satisfied with the accuracy of the models we had received so far. I wanted to know how far can improve the models and how accurate can you print yourself.

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey?

Simon: My boss, and department head, used the models in many operations and so the models quickly became part of the routine. One can no longer imagine many operations without models. I was also motivated again and again by the further developments to stay on the game.

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work? 

Simon: When a patient is treated better due to 3D-Models, that’s very motivating for me.

Jenny: What is the biggest obstacle in your line of work?

Simon: Physicians are always lacking in time, and 3D printing is very time-consuming. The biggest challenge is to start printing early enough that everything is ready on the day of surgery.

Jenny: What do you think is the biggest challenge in 3D Printing?

Simon: In healthcare, the biggest challenge to 3D printing is payment. If there was a CPT code for 3D printing there would be zero obstacles. 

Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be? 


  • Faster printing that a model is ready immediately, as with paper printing.
  • implantable models that are converted into the body’s own tissue.
  • Printing of tissue types (organs)

Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advices you heard should they ignore? 

Simon: Whatever you do, have fun with what you do and stay focused.

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