Medical Modeling, Materials and Manufacturing (M4) Lab

The Medical Modeling, Materials and Manufacturing Lab (M4 Lab) is where medicine, advanced manufacturing, and other materials-related research areas converge to pursue innovative approaches to advance health and well-being in our society.


The M4 Lab brings together an interdisciplinary team of experts under one roof at the Nanotech West Lab user facility on The Ohio University’s West Campus. The group includes representatives from the College of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology, the College of Engineering’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME), and the Institute for Materials and Manufacturing Research (IMR).

At the M4 Lab, biomedical engineering and clinical experts utilize 3D printing to find innovative engineering solutions for real-world needs in clinical medicine. Their current efforts aim to benefit patients undergoing new, uncommon, or complex surgeries at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center by providing access to 3D anatomic models. These devices help medical professionals with surgical planning, patient education, and medical training.

Are you interested in working together? Let’s connect.


What We Do

Using state-of-the-art software tools, 3D printing technologies at Ohio State allow experts in the M4 Lab to rapidly print complex geometries and shapes for patient-specific applications, including OR models and cutting guides.

The lab’s advanced manufacturing capabilities are enabled by an array of 3D printers and a team of engineers with medical device experience from previous projects at Ohio State’s manufacturing hub on West Campus. Different types of 3D printers housed at the M4 Lab permit various fabrication methods, including photopolymerization, polymer filament extrusion, and silicone casting and processing.

On top of research and clinical support activities, the lab is an experiential education platform for undergraduate research assistants, providing students with real-world experience and on-the-job training that will position them as top candidates for medical device company hires. Additionally, postdoctoral researchers, medical students, and residents from across medical and engineering disciplines can collaborate there to create innovative health care solutions.


Who We Serve

The new clinical 3D printing and engineering facility will meet specific needs of the medical community, while being managed and operated by biomedical engineering and clinical experts with firsthand experience commercializing medical devices.

The first project executed by the M4 Lab team resulted in a 3D model of a patient’s mandible, or lower jawbone. The team used imaging from a CT scan to create an exact replica of the 3D anatomy of the patient’s jawbone. That model was soon used in the operating room to successfully facilitate the reconstruction of that patient’s jaw after the removal of a segment of bone.

A value tool for surgeons, a 3D anatomic model printed specific to a patient can be used to explain, prepare, or practice for a procedure. 3D printed models can also play an important role in education and are used by medical students, residents, fellows, and experienced surgeons learning new or uncommon techniques




Material Science | Rapid Prototyping | Regulatory Considerations


Cutting Guide Plate Bending | Complex Anatomy | Custom Plates


Materials Development | New Applications


Fitted Wearable Devices


Complex Anatomic Decision Making | Patient and Trainee Education


The Leadership Team

Megan Malara, PhD
M4 Lab Director
Mary Hoffman Pancake
M4 Lab Program Manager
Program Manager, Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME)
Kyle VanKoevering, M.D.
M4 Lab Clinical Director
Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Ohio State
Online Profile

Ready to get started?

We’re looking forward to learning more about your needs and exploring collaborative opportunities. To begin the partnership process or gain insight into our capabilities, connect with M4 Lab Program Manager Mary Hoffman Pancake (