ARRS 2022 Abstracts


E1765. Color 3D Printing as a Tool to Enhance Anatomic Models: A Beginners Guide
  1. Muhammad Rehman ; The George Washington University
  2. Ramin Javan ; The George Washington University
3D printing has evolved from a nascent technology found only in specialized institutions to a low-cost consumer level entity that has become increasingly approachable. Simultaneously, the capabilities of 3D printing machines are increasing allowing them to create increased detail, use different materials and even dynamically color the print. Already there is significant work demonstrating the utility of 3D printing in a myriad of applications. The ability to create printed models in color is particularly intriguing and has already been utilized to simulate complex and difficult to resect brain tumors and to model prostate cancer. Despite its enormous potential and increasing availability, the technical ability to generate colored models and especially labeling the components remains elusive to the average user and exists mostly at the level of advanced users or professional graphic designers using commercial software with a steep learning curve. A major driving force in the explosion in 3D printing has been the democratizing of the space with large, free depositories of models such as Thingiverse and the NIH 3D Print Exchange, as well as free software for the printing and manipulation of these models such as the Prusa slicer, Cura slicer, Meshmixer, and slicer. In keeping with this theme, we have detailed a technical guide by which a novice user would be able to take previously generated anatomic models, label, and colorize them using freely available software.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
This exhibit will review use of Paint 3D, Meshmixer, Blender, and GIMP to texture anatomic models and thus apply labels, color, and ensure they are ready to be printed. Furthermore, various 3D printing technologies that allow for labeling and coloring are discussed with a focus on the relatively new Multi-Jet Fusion technology capabilities along with a comparison of pros and cons, cost and availability, as well as suitability for various types of anatomic models being printed.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
The exhibit covers the following software and tools. Paint 3D (easiest, least advanced): brush function is used to color the model; magic select and sticker functions are used to create and insert labels. Meshmixer: remesh tool is used to prepare model surface; surface sculpt tool is used to color and label. Blender (most complex with the greatest versatility): smartUV, shading, and texture painting are used to precisely color models. GIMP: stencil function is used to precisely insert labels.

These techniques will allow the generation of cheap, customized models to be printed and labeled in color with a 3D printer, which will enhance functionality of the models and may be especially attractive in educational settings.