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20 February 2019 Characterization of office laser printers for 3-D printing of soft tissue CT phantoms
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The purpose of our study is to develop and evaluate a method for radiopaque 3-D printing (R3P) of soft tissue computed tomography (CT) phantoms with office laser printers. Five laser printers from different vendors are tested for toner CT attenuation. A liver phantom is created by printing CT images of a patient liver on office paper. One thousand eight hundred sixty paper sheets are printed with three repeated prints per page, resulting in a stack of 18.6 cm. The phantom is examined with 12 tube current settings. Images are reconstructed using filtered back projection (FBP) and iterative reconstruction [adaptive iterative dose reduction 3D (AIDR 3D)]. Seven radiologists rated image quality of all acquisitions. Toner attenuation of all investigated printers increased linearly with the print template grayscale. The liver phantom reproduced anatomic detail and attenuation values of the patient (mean  ±  SD HU difference 12.68  ±  7.74). Image quality scores increased with dose but did not vary significantly above a threshold dose for AIDR 3D. Overall, AIDR 3D reconstructed images are rated superior to FBP reconstructions (p  <  0.001). In conclusion, R3P with standard office laser printers can generate soft tissue CT phantoms without hardware manipulations but with limited flexibility regarding attenuation properties of the printed toner material.
© 2019 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 2329-4302/2019/$25.00 © 2019 SPIE
Andreas Gerbl, Marcel Lewin, Tim Zeiske, Marco Ziegert, Felix Benjamin Schwarz, Bernd Hamm, Michael Scheel, and Paul Jahnke "Characterization of office laser printers for 3-D printing of soft tissue CT phantoms," Journal of Medical Imaging 6(2), 021602 (20 February 2019).
Received: 31 July 2018; Accepted: 27 December 2018; Published: 20 February 2019

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