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3D Visualization of DICOM datasets using a MakerBot
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3D Visualization of DICOM datasets using a MakerBot


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  • 1. Three Dimensional Radiologic Visualization and Modeling in Clinical Practice Kaylesh Pandya, OMS-IV Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • 2. Objectives
      • Overview of diagnostic radiology technologies, shortfalls
      • Introduce Osirix DICOM viewer and demonstrate 3D reconstructions
      • 3D Printing and modeling of CT using a MakerBot
  • 3. Introduction
      • Diagnostic radiology is a staple of most fields of medicine - guides both diagnosis and treatment
        • Taught as a core competency starting in medical school
        • Requires understanding and knowledge of anatomy, imaging modality physics,
        • 'thinking in three dimensions while seeing in only two'
      • Only 1.2% of US physicians are radiologists (AMA)
        • Even fewer patients are radiologists!
        • Communicating radiology findings between medical professionals and with patients can be difficult
  • 4. DICOM Medical Imaging Format
    • D igital  I maging and  CO mmunications in  M edicine
      • Industry standard file format and network communication protocol for storing, retrieving, and manipulating medical imaging 
      • Allows for centralized server storage of radiology studies
        • PACS - P icture A rchiving and C ommunication S ystem
      • "Mix and match" DICOM viewers depending on specialty and modality:
        • X-ray
        • CT
        • MRI
        • PET / PET-CT
        • U/S
        • Bone Scan
  • 5. Imaging studies
      • Radiology modalities and technologies are evolving, yet interpreting these studies has remained relatively static
        • PACS systems
        • 2D viewing on-screen
        • Printed films
        • Outside studies on CD
          • Different viewers depending on the imaging center
          • May not be opened on hospital-owned computers (security settings)
        • Difficult to view radiologic imaging at point-of-care
  • 6. OSIRIX -
      • Full featured DICOM / PACS viewing system for Mac
      • Free for non-medical use, $600 for FDA-approved
        • iPad / iPhone version
      • Extensive 3D (4D, 5D) viewing capability in clinical context
      • Can export and interoperate with 3D modeling formats
        • Same tools used in other industries & sciences
          • Virtual Reality
          • CNC Mills 
          • Rapid Prototyping
            • MakerBot
            • P&O?
  • 7. 2D vs 3D Visualization of a CVA 
    • B.E.: 70M c/o 3 days confusion, difficulty reading
    • CT: Large left-sided parietal-occipital hemorrhage
    • Neuro: Transcortical sensory aphasia
  • 8. 3D Visualization of a Head Trauma
    • 20Y, unknown history (anonymized CT)
    • s/p L Decompressive Craniectomy
    • s/p L Inferior Orbit Reconstruction
  • 9. 3D CT Reconstructions Using OSIRIX
  • 10. 3D Modeling using a Makerbot
    • Automated 3D Desktop printer
      • Uses ABS, PVA, PLA extruded through a heated nozzle
    • ~$1500, sold as a DIY kit (similar to IKEA)
    • Open source design
      • Allows and encourages users to modify their Makerbot
  • 11. Makerbot 101 (
  • 12. Workflow for CT to MakerBot Data Transformation Resource
    • Export CT to ‘Surface Rendered’ Object
      • Pick appropriate density level for imaging
    Osirix (
    • “ Clean up” 3D model
      • Reduce detail level
      • Fill in dead spaces
      • Add scaffolding
    Blender ( MeshLab ( SketchUp ( Generate Machine Code and print to MakerBot ReplicatorG ( MakerBot (
  • 13. Applications and Implications
    • Patient and family education
    • Surgical and Rehab planning
    • Medical education
    • Prosthetics and Orthotics prototyping
    • FDA – approved implantable parts in the future?
    • HIPAA issues of manufacturing 3D models?
    • Souvenirs?
  • 14. Acknowledgements
      • @Ech0labs
      • Matthew Oishii
      • @hackerspaces
      • @i3detroit
      • @makerbot