Picture of Physical Reconfiguration of Digital Anatomy
This project had its roots in my fascination with anatomy, and my own organs and internal processes.  Due to various childhood surgeries, I've had to get a number of MRI's, and the resulting images are amazing.  I love the concept of  being able to see the complex internal organs through the barrier of skin.
This instructable will show you how to create three-dimensional forms based off of photographs, mill out a foam object from those digital forms, and use wax to create a physical representation of the "digital anatomy."  

Step 1: MRI images to 3D object

First, insert an image (Figure 1) into Rhino using the "picture frame" command.  This will result in an image that is able to be moved and scaled.  (Figure 2)

Use "control point curve" to draw a line around the object you wish to make 3D, in my case it was my heart and aorta.  (Figure 3)  It is important to turn Osnaps off for this, so that the line will be on one plane and not snap elsewhere where you don't want it.  Use the "patch" command to create a surface from the closed line, and then use "extrude surface" to create an extension that can hold volume.  (Figure 4)  Make sure that 'cap' is selected, so that the extruded ends are capped and the figure is solid.  

Insert another image, with the same "picture frame" command.  This image should be another view of the same object.  For example, if the first image was of the front of the object, the second image should be of the side of the object.  Rotate the second image 45 degrees.  (Image 5)

Perform the same process on the second image: control point curve, patch, extrude surface.  You now have two solid objects.  (Image 6)  Depending on where you place the second image, the tracing line may or may not be directly on the image.  If it is not, the process works just as well.  However, for patch to work correctly, make sure that the line is not curved through multiple coordinate planes.  

Arrange these two objects so that they intersect one another.  (Image 7)  

Use "Boolean2Objects" and select 'intersection.'  This should result in a three-dimensional object that is roughly the shape of your desired piece.  (Image 8)
wasteroo1 year ago

Aw man I really, really like this. I was actually playing around with some MRI art in Slicer with the Dicom format, it seems like an area ripe for harvesting some amazing and peculiar digital art from. It's cool that you had MRI data from your own body, I was stuck futzing around with the sample data that came with Slicer. I just wish I had access to a 3D printer!