We Should 3D Scan People

In a perfect futuristic world you have pre-emptive 3D scans of your specific anatomy. They’d be useful to compare changes in your body over time, and to have a pristine blueprint to aid in the event of a catastrophe. As with all futuristic worlds there are some problems with actually getting there. The risks may outweigh the rewards, and cost is an issue, but having 3D imaging of a sick body’s anatomy does have some real benefits. Take a journey with me down the rabbit hole of 3D technology and Gray’s Anatomy.

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From CT Scans to 3D Prints

[the_digital_dentist] had a CT Scan done back in 2007 for treatment using orthodontics. Some how, he managed to get a copy of the CT Scan data from the lab, and has been playing around with it lately.

Since he has a 3D printer, the obvious end goal was to print his face using some of the data extracted from the CT Scan. This required a lot of manipulation to get it to the finished model you see above. He used an open source software called DeVIDE to process the data and export the STL. Not much information on this is given on his site, but in our research we managed to find another video documenting the process in DeVIDE on extracting the STL model from DICOM CT scan data.

5eachUnfortunately, the STL is far from being ready to print after being extracted; there is a lot of extraneous data that needs to be cleaned up. He used mesh editing software to help blow away the unnecessary details. We don’t know for sure what software [the_digital_dentist] used, but MeshLab is a good one.

After that, it was just a matter of printing the STL file. But the really cool thing about using data from CT scans is the amount of detail it captures… Stick around after the break to see an animated GIF demonstrating this.

Anyone want to print a copy of their own skull? It’d look great with a plating of Adamantanium…