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jscales1

Lumen of vessel in 3D Slicer

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For me, the best for blood vessels modeling is the UV sphere of Blender. It's relatively easy to create a good 3D model of the lumen of the vessel from a good angio CT. This is what the vascular surgeons and the morphologists wants - the lumen have to be as good as possible, especially if you want to add a water pump to the model later for stent design study or if you want to use sophisticated fluid dynamics simulator for some fancy pathophysiology study (there are some good open-source simulators btw). I tested Dr. Mike's script from the advanced ankle tutorial and I got excellent results. There are some really good features of this method:
1. You can have the EXACT offset from the lumen everywhere, the crossing meshes are not an issue anymore. If you use the hollow option from Meshmixer, you'll get a lumen with bad quality, smaller than the real one. For an anatomist this is unacceptable,
2. Every 3D printer have a minimum wall thickness, which in my case is 0,2 mm (one layer of material). The resulting model is too fragile and with too many extrusion errors. In practical perspective is crucial to control the thickness of the wall (the offset of the UV sphere). I made a lusoria model with wall thickness of 0.6mm, which means 3 layers of material per every section of the wall. The resulting print is stable, visually appealing and won't brake in the rude hands of my students.

3. It requires some surface modeling to remove the bridges between the vessel branches, but it is nothing Meshmixer can't handle. Instead of a sphere, you can build a shell of simple geometrical forms (tetraeders, cylinders etc ) around your vessel model and the bridges wont be an issue anymore.

4. You can make as many iterations as you want, 60 is the magic number for me. Just make sure to remesh the shell after the wraping.

In conclusion - Dr. Mike, your script is GREAT. It will be excellent to add special tutorial about it.

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