CT scan image data is used to create a 3DP computer model using medical imaging software. There are two options available for manufacturing the life-size model. the first option is stereolithography (SLA) and the second option is three-dimensional printing (3DP).
The CT data must be produced according to a specific scan protocol so the data is compatible with the imaging software and to ensure the data will result in a highly accurate model. The imaging software translates to CT data by delineating different densities. Hountsfield units are used as a guide for determining hard tissue. After the CT data has been segmented, the software interpolates the data on all three planes to form a smooth three-dimensional model. A computer file of this model is transferred to stereolithography equipment or three dimensional printing equipment where a physical model of the patient's bone structure is created.