BBC, 1 February 2016. Last updated at 10:58 GMT
A US company is using a combination of computer aided design, 3D fabrication and stem cells to create bone replacements.
EpiBone uses a CT scan of the area needing a bone replacement and produces a scaffold from an animal bone which has been stripped of all its cellular material.
Stem cells taken from the patient’s fat tissue are added and the structure is held in a bioreactor for three weeks while it grows.
The company is currently at the animal research phase, but clinical trials in humans could begin within the next couple years if it gets approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).