3D printing techniques are increasingly used in engineering science, allowing the use of computer aided design (CAD) to rapidly and inexpensively create prototypes and components. There is also growing interest in the application of these techniques in a clinical context for the creation of anatomically accurate 3D printed models from medical images for therapy planning, research, training and teaching applications. However, the techniques and tools available to create 3D models of anatomical structures typically require specialist knowledge in image processing and mesh manipulation to achieve. In this book chapter we describe the advantages of 3D printing for patient education, healthcare professional education, interventional planning and implant development. We also describe how to use medical image data to segment volumes of interest, refine and prepare for 3D printing. We will use a lung as an example. The information in this section will allow anyone to create own 3D printed models from medical image data. This knowledge will be of use to anyone with little or no previous experience in medical image processing who have identified a potential application for 3D printing in a medical context, or those with a more general interest in the techniques.
Part of the book: 3D Printing