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How to Do 3D Modeling for CT Surgery

Monday, January 16, 2017

3D modeling is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any 3D surface of an object via specialized software. The product is called a 3D model. It can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process called 3D rendering, a computer simulation of physical phenomena, or an actual physical model or hologram.

The nine steps to 3D printing reviewed include the following:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Import DICOM for segmentation - high resolution imaging data from contrast chest CT and MR; then import DICOM data for segmentation (Materialise software).
  3. Segmentation and color coding - segmentation is the separation and color coding of important anatomy for the surgeon: tumor, aorta, SVC, tracheal bronchial tree, pulmonary vessels, and upper chest wall including upper spine, ribs and clavicle and sternum. The brachial plexus can be segmented from MR imaging data and co-registered on the CT using bony landmarks. Segmentation and color coding anatomy is done with proprietary software (Mimics Innovation Suite - V. 18). Each item segmented becomes its own STL file. 
  4. Conversion of segmented data into virtual 3D
  5. Conversion of data into an STL for printing (using 3Matics software)
  6. Export STL to printer, selecting material & colors
  7. Print model and support material
  8. Post processing of the model
  9. Review model

This video is authored by Shanda Blackmon, MD, MPH and Jane Matsumoto, MD. 

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