While use of advanced visualization in radiology is instrumental in diagnosis andcommunication with referring clinicians, there is an unmet need to renderDigital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) images asthree-dimensional (3D) printed models capable of providing both tactile feedbackand tangible depth information about anatomic and pathologic states.Three-dimensional printed models, already entrenched in the nonmedical sciences,are rapidly being embraced in medicine as well as in the lay community.Incorporating 3D printing from images generated and interpreted by radiologistspresents particular challenges, including training, materials and equipment, andguidelines. The overall costs of a 3D printing laboratory must be balanced bythe clinical benefits. It is expected that the number of 3D-printed modelsgenerated from DICOM images for planning interventions and fabricating implantswill grow exponentially. Radiologists should at a minimum be familiar with 3Dprinting as it relates to their field, including types of 3D printingtechnologies and materials used to create 3D-printed anatomic models, publishedapplications of models to date, and clinical benefits in radiology.
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