An improved effective method for generating 3D printable models from medical imaging
Rathod, Gaurav Dilip
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Medical practitioners rely heavily on visualization of medical imaging to get a better understanding of the patient's anatomy. Most cancer treatment and surgery today are performed using medical imaging. Medical imaging is therefore of great importance to the medical industry. Medical imaging continues to depend heavily on a series of 2D scans, resulting in a series of 2D photographs being displayed using light boxes and/or computer monitors. Today, these 2D images are increasingly combined into 3D solid models using software. These 3D models can be used for improved visualization and understanding of the problem at hand, including fabricating physical 3D models using additive manufacturing technologies. Generating precise 3D solid models automatically from 2D scans is non-trivial. Geometric and/or topologic errors are common, and often costly manual editing is required to produce 3D solid models that sufficiently reflect the actual underlying human geometry. These errors arise from the ambiguity of converting from 2D data to 3D data, and also from inherent limitations of the .STL fileformat used in additive manufacturing. This thesis proposes a new, robust method for automatically generating 3D models from 2D scanned data (e.g., computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)), where the resulting 3D solid models are specifically generated for use with additive manufacturing. This new method does not rely on complicated procedures such as contour evolution and geometric spline generation, but uses volume reconstruction instead. The advantage of this approach is that the original scan data values are kept intact longer, so that the resulting surface is more accurate. This new method is demonstrated using medical CT data of the human nasal airway system, resulting in physical 3D models fabricated via additive manufacturing.
- Masters Theses