Segmentation: The Real Struggles Behind Converting DICOM to Patient-specific 3D Printable Models

Similar to gaining traction from 3D Printer vendors toward medical community needs, our community will need to show the returns on vendors investing resources to solve our problems. As this community grows, the issues will become more important. Radiologists involved with 3D printing at this point are in a position of leverage and should begin demanding that segmentation tools accommodate the myriad of needs that 3D printing will ultimately present. Perhaps the suggestion of a semi-automated approach is something that will benefit radiologists in other workflows than 3D Printing. All of us can track issues, articulate them carefully and think about ways to rate software based on objective measures such as the validation method suggested above. Lastly, without direct involvement with the developers, it is difficult to perceive how segmentation tools will ever truly meet the needs of the users, their needs, and the data they are forced to work with.

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