In this Instructable you will learn how to easily convert a medical imaging CT scan in DICOM file format to a 3D printable STL model very quickly and easily using free software and online services. The method described here works on any major operating system (Windows, Macintosh, Linux) and requires no prior knowledge of medical imaging or CAD software. All data and software to follow along are provided, including a test CT scan.
The first software program we will use is 3D Slicer. 3D Slicer is a free medical imaging program available on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, so no matter what operating system you are using you should be fine. Go to the slicer.org webpage and click on the Download button. Choose the latest stable release for your operating system and install the software once it is downloaded.
We will also be using Autodesk Meshmixer, a free mesh editing and modeling software program that we will use at the end of this tutorial in final preparation for 3D printing. Let’s download it now. Go to meshmixer.com and click the Download button on the upper right to download the latest version for your operating system.