Introduction: Print Your Heart : 3D Models for Cardiac Valve Disease
3D echocardiography has rapidly become the standard in the evaluation of patients with valve disease. This technique provides a new window for heart evaluation, not only for the cardiologist, but also for other medical doctors involved in the management of patients suffering from heart diseases, such as cardiac surgeons.
Today, this technique is enabled through specific hardware devices and proprietary software solutions that do not enable spread application inside clinics and didactic.
Step 1: Step 1 : Getting Input Heart Information
The developed software framework reads generated DICOM single files (images) exported from standard Echocardiography Systems, automating the process to transalate these information in .STL files and sending the file to 3D printer and patient's individual digital medical record
Step 2: Step 2: From DICOM to .stl Models
Without any user interaction, the developed software automacally transforms saved DICOM images in a set of 3D points (x, y, z - coordinates), pointes are triangualted and connected using vectors and finally all information are save .STL files, representing 3D models of the heart.
Step 3: Step 3 : From .stl to Printer and Animated Models
3D echocardiography systems collect different frames for different timestamps representing animated models. All these different frames are automatically exported in PDF3D animated files, thus archived and visualized inside patient medical record.
The cardiologist can select one or multiple frames. Selection confirmation send selected frames to the printer for the physical 3D printing.
Step 4: Practical Results
The 3D models of the heart enable not technical users (doctors / cardiac surgeons / students and cardiologists) to understand and discuss about the specific deseases with students and patients.
After DICOM files are exported from Ecocardiography device, models are automatically sent to printing machine and animated file are saved into patient medical record without any user interaction in less than 10 seconds.