With the help of 3-D printing, precise plastic models of a living human heart are helping cardiologists envision and find solutions for individual patients' heart ailments. And that's "because you've got a three-dimensional problem. What we're all trying to do is reconstruct how far away X and Y are. But now you can just take [the model], and hold it and look at it and say, 'Oh, they're that far away,'" said pediatric cardiologist Laura Olivieri at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
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