The Advanced Projects Laboratory

Imagine. Innovate. Inspire.

We minimize the trauma of congenital heart disease for patients and families over the course of a lifetime. We are committed to providing state-of-the-art care today to make it possible to operate on the inoperable, treat the untreatable, and reach those left behind.

Rosemaylee wearing a headset to see her 3d heart model
Rosemaylee wearing a headset to see her 3d heart model

The Advanced Projects Laboratory (APL) at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a world leader in the pioneering use of cutting-edge technology to support the delivery and transformation of healthcare. The program is one of the first in the U.S. to combine the use of holomedicine 3D visualization and advanced 3D printing of operable and dissectible models to support clinicians at Nicklaus Children's in planning complex operations, optimizing patient outcomes, and advancing medical education.

Who We Are

Enhancing the Patient Experience

The Advanced Projects Laboratory helps patients and families better visualize how surgical repairs will be accomplished. Families can hold and keep the printed patient hearts and learn from clinicians exactly how the surgery will be accomplished. It is invaluable as children transition to adulthood for them to understand their heart disease. It leads to enhanced patient and family satisfaction.

Next Generation Innovation

The Advanced Projects Laboratory was among the first in the nation to use 3D printing technology in healthcare. Nicklaus Children's Hospital routinely uses scale models of patient hearts for surgical planning and patient education. To date, over five hundred models have been printed of hearts, brains, spines, extremities and other organs.

With the advent of augmented reality medical platforms, the laboratory has expanded its technology focus to include 3D holograms to support surgical planning.

The 3D printing and hologram technology relies on Nicklaus Children's advanced medical imaging capability, including MRI, CT, Angio CT, PET and SPECT-TC technology to create individual 3D patient models and images.

Opportunities in Medical Education

The Advanced Projects Laboratory is also exploring opportunities to use its advanced technology to support medical education. The 3D and Holomedicine technology provide opportunities for medical students to view specific patient anatomy in new immersive ways that enhance learning and understanding.


3D heart models printed

9 years

pioneering visualization tech in the OR since 2013
featured patient photo.
featured patient photo.

Stories to Inspire

The Advanced Projects Laboratory at Nicklaus Children's brings hope to young boy with rare form of cancer through the use of 3D printing and mixed reality.
More Stories

Technology Collaborators

The laboratory is a collaboration with industry leaders in augmented reality and 3D printing. Technology includes:

Stratasys logo
The Stratasys J750 digital Anatomy™ Printer, which has the capability to print 3D replicas of patient hearts and other anatomy with similar biomechanical properties including soft-tissues, cartilage, and muscle and bone structures.
apoQlar VSI logo
ApoQlar’s VSI Holomedicine, which makes it possible for clinicians to view patient MRI, CT, angio CT, PET and SPECT-CT and other medical scanned images as 3D holograms in real space using the Microsoft HoloLens2 mixed-reality glasses.
synopsis simpleware
Simpleware software offers complete 3D image segmentation and model generation solutions for going from scans to 3D models. Accurately process images, obtain measurements and statistics, and export high-quality models to design, simulation and 3D printing applications.
spheregen logo
SphereGen specializes in developing cutting edge solutions in Healthcare to improve patient experiences and outcomes by innovating the process. SphereGen offers custom software services in Extended Reality, Application Modernization/Support, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).