News | 3-D Printing | August 13, 2015

Philips, 3-D Printer Manufacturer Create Sophisticated MRI Scan Replicas

Technology partners use models to illustrate how 3-D printing enhances medical imaging

Philips, Ultimaker, MRI scans, 3-D printing, replicas, ISMRM

Image courtesy of Ultimaker

Image courtesy of Ultimaker

August 13, 2015 —In an effort to demonstrate how 3-D printing can help better interpret medical imaging, Philips teamed up with 3-D printer manufacturer Ultimaker to create detailed replicas of Philips magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The replicas were displayed at the 2015 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) annual meeting in Toronto, May 30-June 5.

Philips used an Ultimaker 2 Extended 3-D printer to produce the accurate models of their MRI scans. Ultimaker and Philips chose MRI DICOM files to be converted into .STL files that could be read by the printer; final models included an aorta with a very visible aneurysm, a cross-sectional model of a knee, a whole human brain and a combination of a full human head with the brain exposed.

The project transformed difficult-to-understand medical imaging into something patients can touch and interact with, ultimately helping doctors and patients alike understand diagnoses. The goal was to encourage medical professionals to consider how innovation can improve their work and the quality of their patients’ lives.

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