Presented in this work is a detailed methodology of how to properly print 3-dimensional (3D) heart models starting from computed tomography (CT) scan and using the Mimics Innovation Suite (Mimics and 3-matic) software package (from Materialize, Leuven, Belgium). The methodology starts by segmenting the clinical DICOM files to retain masks of gray value range of interest. Specifically, retained is the blood volume contained in the heart. Using Mimics, this is accomplished by creating mask and then editing and refining the relevant mask in order to isolate the blood within a certain range of Hounsfield Units (HU). A second mask is created using different gray value ranges to isolate the tissues of the heart. Both 3D models are transferred to 3-matic where integrated Boolean operations are executed to subtract the geometric entities thus retaining the 3D geometry of the heart (including myocardium, cavities, and arteries) of interest. The retained model geometry consists of the muscle surface of the heart and enclosing the hollowed cavities inside that represent the blood volume. Following further processing in 3-matic, the 3D model is now ready for 3D printing. At the American University of Beirut (AUB), a ProJet 3510 SD (3D Systems) is employed to print the heart models (both sectioned and whole). Printed 3D models are employed within the Program for Congenital Heart Disease at AUB that represents a model for clinical applications, education, and research as the first such initiative in Lebanon and the Middle East region.

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