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    democratiz3D Frequently Asked Questions

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    About democratiz3D

    What is democratiz3D?

    democratiz3D is an automated online image processing service which allows embodi3D members to easily convert and process files when going from a medical image to a 3D printable file. democratiz3D greatly reduces the time for converting files for medical 3d printing. Users no longer need to learn complicated software or invest in software programs and training.

    Who is democratiz3D designed for?

    Anyone who wants to quickly and easily convert medical scan images into 3D print ready files can learn how. You do not have to be a doctor or other medical professional to use the service. We offer various resources to help you get started: a Quick Start Guide, a more in-depth User Manual and tutorials.

    Do I have to install any software?

    No, this is an online service that does not require you to download and install medical 3D printing software.

    What type of medical scans can I convert?

    At this time, only CT scans can be converted. We currently have the following image converters (operations) available:

    • an NRRD from a CT scan is converted into a bone STL file - available in standard, detailed and very detailed operations
    • an NRRD from a CT scan is converted into a muscle STL file
    • an NRRD from a CT scan is converted into a skin STL file
    • an NRRD from a CT scan is converted into a dental STL file

    More information on which operation to select can be found in the User Manual.

    Please note: MRI scans cannot be converted at this time. However, more operations are planned.

    What file formats can I upload?

    Only NRRD and STL files can be uploaded. DICOM files are not supported. Our terms of use stipulate that files containing personal identifiable information cannot be uploaded to our website.

    Is democratiz3D HIPAA Compliant?

    Yes. By completing the DICOM to NRRD conversion, all patient date is removed from the CT scan. Learn how to convert DICOM to NRRD.

    Does this work for animal scans?

    Yes, members are using democratiz3D for animal scans as well. Veterinarians are using democratiz3D to better understand animal-specific anatomy and plan treatment.

    Using democratiz3D

    How can I learn to use democratiz3D?

    We offer various resources to help you get started: a Quick Start Guide, a more in-depth User Manual and tutorials.

    How do I convert my DICOM file to an NRRD file?

    The process only takes a few minutes. Review this tutorial to learn how.

    Why do I need to create an NRRD file?

    An NRRD file is a standard image format which allows for images to be easily processed. Medical scans contain patient data, while NRRD files do not. When you upload your NRRD file to embodi3D.com, you will not be transmitting patient data. democratiz3D is HIPAA compliant.

    How long does it take to convert my scan?

    The time it takes to convert your scan depends on the size of the source file, the operation and quality settings you select when you prepare to submit your NRRD file for processing. The file processing time varies from a few minutes to about an hour. See our User Manual for a detailed explanation of operations and quality. Thumbnails take longer to generate than the STL files. The table below can be used as guidance for the trade-off between quality and processing time:

       Quality level     Processing time

       low                   up to 5 minutes

       medium            up to 10 minutes

       high                  up to 15 minutes

       ultra                  up to 60 minutes

    What is the key difference in the various quality levels?

    Higher quality models include more polygons and therefore require longer processing times. If you just want a quick view of your model or test your file for convertibility, a lower quality setting may be sufficient. However, if detail is very important (e.g. you need to print a patient's teeth to fit for braces), you may need to work with ultra quality. The User Manual provides more information on quality levels.

    If I share or sell my file, how is my intellectual property protected?

    When you share your file, you can select a license type. Various Creative Commons licenses are available for free files. We also offer a General License for Paid Files, or you can choose to upload your own license.

    What are the privacy settings?

    When you are setting your democratiz3D processing parameters, you have the option to share a file, to sell it in our marketplace, or to keep it private.

    How do I change my privacy settings?

    Should you wish to change this setting at a later time, simply open the file (go to My Files in the drop-down menu under your Profile), click on File Actions, select Edit Details, and change the Privacy selection.

     

    Private files and any thumbnails and images associated with them are only visible to you. Therefore, if you want to sell a file in the marketplace, ensure you have the privacy set to "shared". 

     

    Note: If you are not a Premium Member and you created your STL file using a Premium Service in democratiz3D and marked the file "permanently shared" with the community (thus enabling you to download the file for free) and you later want to make the file private, you will have to pay the one-time Pay-or-Share download fee.

    Where is my processed STL file?

    Click on your profile and select My Files to see a list of files that belong to you. This includes the NRRD files you uploaded as well as the processed STL files.

    Pricing and Payment

    How much does it cost to convert a scan?

    Regular embodi3D members have free access to standard features of democratiz3D. Premium Members have access to additional, specialized democratiz3D operations and quality levels through a monthly or annual subscription. Our Pay or Share Program provides regular members a way to access Premium democratiz3D features for free. For pricing on the various options, click here.

    How do I pay?

    Payment is made by credit card and is handled by a third-party payment processor. There are 2 payment options:

    1. regular members can pay for each private file they generated using Premium Services under the Pay or Share Program.
    2. you can purchase a monthly or annual subscription and become a Premium Member with unlimited access to all democratiz3D features.

    What is a Premium Member?

    Premium Members have unlimited access to all services on embodi3D.com, including all benefits that regular members enjoy and additional Premium settings in democratiz3D. These Premium settings are intended for the most demanding medical 3D printing and 3D modeling applications where maximum accuracy and extremely precise detail are needed. They include specialized operations, such as those designed for dental scans, and an ultra quality level. Premium Members have a monthly or annual subscription to democratiz3D.

    How do I change or cancel my subscription?

    To change or cancel your subscription navigate to Manage My Purchases which is found in the navigation menu under your name on the upper-right side of the web page. You can also see all the files you have processed with democratiz3D by going to My Files, which is right next to Manage my Purchases. The change or cancellation will be effective at the end of the subscription period. Please note that we do not offer partial refunds for unused portions of a subscription period.

    STL Files

    Can I sell my 3D printable model on embodi3D.com?

    Yes, you can sell both the original NRRD file and the processed STL file in the embodi3D.com marketplace. This tutorial will teach you how to sell your file on embodi3D.com. Double check that the file's privacy is set to "shared" and ensure that you have a good title and description for the file so that potential buyers can find your file.

    Where can I 3D print my STL file?

    An STL file can be sent to any 3D printer which accepts that file format. If you don't have a 3D printer, you can post to our forums and ask whether an embodi3D member can print your file or you can contact a 3D printing lab or online hub.

    Common Issues

    The conversion service does not launch

    The service will only launch if you are signed in as a member. If you do not have an account yet, click on the Sign Up button on the top of any embodi3D.com web page to register. It is quick and free. You will need a validated email address to register. Please be sure to check your email after signing up to activate your account.

    My file did not convert

    There are 3 main reasons:

    • only NRRD and STL files can be uploaded. DICOM files will not be processed.
    • your NRRD file must be derived from a CT scan. NRRD files from MRI scans are currently not supported.
    • you did not turn file processing on in Step 4 of the upload process. The slider must be green for your file to be converted. The slider defaults to green/on when you submit a new NRRD file but defaults to red/off when you resubmit an NRRD file you have already uploaded.

    I don't see any thumbnails for my file

    democratiz3D generates thumbnails for both the NRRD and STL files. They take longer to generate than the processed file. Refresh your My Files page after about 10 minutes.

     

    If you have any more questions, check out our discussion forum or contact us.