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CAD modelling of a heart

LUMC | december 2016 tot april 2017

3D render of a physiologically accurate heart

CAD modelling is increasingly being used in the medical world. One could for instance 3D-print CAD-models of organs to communicate defects to doctors/surgeons/patients. MRI-scans are used to generate anatomically correct CAD-files. The LUMC asked us to help in this endeavour.

The challenge

It was our objective to model a human heart in the greatest detail possible. The main goal of our project was to produce a CAD-file that could be used to create 3D-prints and produce high quality renders and animations. To meet this level of quality we needed to produce a file that consisted of closed meshes that envelop closed volumes. The files we we’re given consisted of wrongly oriented, double/triple walled and simply non-existing geometries.

The solution

From MRI scan to CAD-file.

To create a high quality CAD-model the LUMC provided us with several MRI-scans. These scans needed to be converted to a geometry with volume. The scans were loaded sequentially and depending on the density in the scan a type of tissue was selected and converted into a mesh.


Improving the mesh

After creating this preliminary mesh the quality had to be improved drastically. The model was put through several software packages to improve multiple aspects of the model. We first decreased the number of faces the model consisted of, then improved the connections between different structures and finally we took care of errors due to formatting and the texture.

The result

An anatomically correct heart

The result of the project is an anatomically correct heart consisting of 16 parts, each with a texture an specific points for UV-mapping. The CAD-file consists of solid part files that are suited to be 3D-printed.

Who worked on this case?



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