3D Printing, not only using computer programs to design and create the outcome, but also consists of programs that use to manage and edit 3D printing files derived from 3D scanner as well as to convert files from 2D into 3D.
This article describes STL files that are used to manage in 3D printing and explains how these files work with medical 3D printing.
Getting to know STL files that are used in 3D printing
File name “.STL” (Standard Triangle Language) is a file to store data for 3D printing where a pattern of file is only primary information in geometry that shows depth and does not include colours, textures, or characteristics of originals. In other word, it is a file that show shapes of objects from scan.
That is a tool to save data that is derived from scan and imitate characteristics of objects’ surfaces and CAD (Computer Aided Design) that is used to design a piece as desire. Method of scanning or design with CAD derived a file name .STL.
To manage .STL files with Materialise Magics Program
STL file that is created by a determination of the nearest information of the objects’ surface by 3D scanning or newly created by CAD program and saved as STL file, sometimes, information may not be accurate. This goes the same for quality of an object scan that need to set scan resolution which sometimes is incomplete.
Definition of STL file is information of many triangles connected together and formed into a piece or an outcome as desired. Once increase details of file, consequently, the amount of triangle pieces rose, resulting in a larger file. Nevertheless, the larger file does not affect 3D printing.
For a 3D cube, it is comprised of 12 triangles connected from all 6 surfaces where each surface is a combination of 2 triangles. Therefore, in a cube, it consists of 12 triangles.
For a round surface, it is comprised of many triangles. The bigger the round, the many triangles occur. All of the above describes surface of 3D model which is behind a filename .STL.
Main characteristics of Materialise Magics
Apart from adjusting structure of triangles that placed in a distance or on top of each other to relocate to a suitable position, Materialise Magics helps in design where it allows to add logo, text, placing serial numbers, making a hole, adds texture, adjusts form to make it easier for 3D printing and able to manage triangle surfaces quickly with a compatible and user friendly program.
To create information of 3D printing in medical
Creating 3D printing that derived from a scan of patient is another aspect that uses technology in 3D printing in medical that would aid in analysis and treatment plans for patients in 3D. 3D file is very useful, or it can be used to create a replica model for specific needs. It is able to analyse symptoms of patients precisely and accurately which scanned is divided into:
1. CT Scan
CT scan is a scan via X radiation or X-ray to store data of internal organs of patients where the ray is used to scan bones or protrude and solid organs in terms of 2D information. It is widely used to scan in emergency cases as it only takes 5 minutes to complete.
MRI is a process that uses high magnetic field radiation and radio frequency to take photos of tissues, organs and body structures which providing high definition 2D images. Storing information from MRI is precise and effective.
3. Laser Scan
It is a 3D scan of surfaces that can be used in both living and non-living organisms and able to scan only from the outside. It is unable to store information of objects’ internals or organs unlike CT Scan or MRI.
Result of Laser Scan can be used to create 3D file instantly and .STL file which can be altered and managed with a program.
To use file derived from medical scan to create .STL file
After received scanned files of patients’ organs; files from CT Scan and MRI still in 2D. Therefore, it is necessary to process images into 3D in prior by using Mimics program which can turn 2D into .STL file.
Mimics program can adjust and edit images as need in 3D where images can be divided or added or altered the size, width, depth as require to match the needs of 3D usage or allow print command into 3D model for further use in medical treatment further.
As you can see that development of program that manage .STL files including other types of files from scan can be edit or change as desire. In 3D medical printing, the program is widely used and accepted as the result is practical and able to create organ models for further studies or structures of patients which deliver effective medical treatment plans.
For those who need further information on how to manage complete files before 3D printing or how to use file management program for medical 3D, please contact us here. We have experts await for your consultant.
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