Journal of Digital Imaging

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 14–21 | Cite as

3D Printing of CT Dataset: Validation of an Open Source and Consumer-Available Workflow

  • Chandra BortolottoEmail author
  • Esmeralda Eshja
  • Caterina Peroni
  • Matteo A. Orlandi
  • Nicola Bizzotto
  • Paolo Poggi


The broad availability of cheap three-dimensional (3D) printing equipment has raised the need for a thorough analysis on its effects on clinical accuracy. Our aim is to determine whether the accuracy of 3D printing process is affected by the use of a low-budget workflow based on open source software and consumer’s commercially available 3D printers. A group of test objects was scanned with a 64-slice computed tomography (CT) in order to build their 3D copies. CT datasets were elaborated using a software chain based on three free and open source software. Objects were printed out with a commercially available 3D printer. Both the 3D copies and the test objects were measured using a digital professional caliper. Overall, the objects’ mean absolute difference between test objects and 3D copies is 0.23 mm and the mean relative difference amounts to 0.55 %. Our results demonstrate that the accuracy of 3D printing process remains high despite the use of a low-budget workflow.


Multidetector computed tomography Computer-aided design Printing Imaging three-dimensional Dimensional measurement accuracy 




Conflicts of Interest

None for all authors

Ethics Statement

All human and animal studies have been approved and performed in accordance with ethical standards, and informed consent was obtained.

Supplementary material

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Video tutorial Osirix (MOV 6635 kb)

Vid. 2

Video tutorial MeshLab (MOV 8493 kb)

Vid. 3

Video tutorial Cura (MOV 9662 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radiology Department, Ospedale Maggiore di LodiLodiItaly
  2. 2.Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Polo Chirurgico ConfortiniVeronaItaly

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