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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Mohammad Vaezi, Chee Kai Chua and Siaw Meng Chou

Today, medical models can be made by the use of medical imaging systems through modern image processing methods and rapid prototyping (RP) technology. In ultrasound…

Abstract

Purpose

Today, medical models can be made by the use of medical imaging systems through modern image processing methods and rapid prototyping (RP) technology. In ultrasound imaging systems, as images are not layered and are of lower quality as compared to those of computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the process for making physical models requires a series of intermediate processes and it is a challenge to fabricate a model using ultrasound images due to the inherent limitations of the ultrasound imaging process. The purpose of this paper is to make high quality, physical models from medical ultrasound images by combining modern image processing methods and RP technology.

Design/methodology/approach

A novel and effective semi‐automatic method was developed to improve the quality of 2D image segmentation process. In this new method, a partial histogram of 2D images was used and ideal boundaries were obtained. A 3D model was achieved using the exact boundaries and then the 3D model was converted into the stereolithography (STL) format, suitable for RP fabrication. As a case study, the foetus was chosen for this application since ultrasonic imaging is commonly used for foetus imaging so as not to harm the baby. Finally, the 3D Printing (3DP) and PolyJet processes, two types of RP technique, were used to fabricate the 3D physical models.

Findings

The physical models made in this way proved to have sufficient quality and shortened the process time considerably.

Originality/value

It is still a challenge to fabricate an exact physical model using ultrasound images. Current commercial histogram‐based segmentation method is time‐consuming and results in a less than optimum 3D model quality. In this research work, a novel and effective semi‐automatic method was developed to select the threshold optimum value easily.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Chua Chee Kai, Chou Siaw Meng, Lin Sin Ching, Lee Seng Teik and Saw Chit Aung

While computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies are highly commendable for their applications and usage, sometimes cases involving…

Abstract

While computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies are highly commendable for their applications and usage, sometimes cases involving facial anatomy restoration may not necessarily require these highly sophisticated technologies. A suitable replacement that is also non‐contact and allows fast image capture is the laser digitizer surface scanner. This scanner takes only seconds to capture an image of the patient’s sound or healthy facial anatomy. By using the captured image data, it is possible, with the help of a surface data modeller rapid prototyping (RP) machine and vacuum casting machine, to manufacture the prosthesis for implant. Presents a novel approach for facial prosthesis fabrication through a case study of a prosthetic ear model using an integrated manufacturing system comprising the laser surface digitizer, surface data modeller, rapid prototyping system and vacuum casting system.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

Keywords

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