Technical note: Controlling the attenuation of 3D-printed physical phantoms for computed tomography with a single material.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: The purpose of this work was to characterize and improve the ability of fused filament fabrication to create anthropomorphic physical phantoms for CT research. Specifically, we sought to develop the ability to create multiple levels of X-ray attenuation with a single material. METHODS: CT images of 3D printed cylinders with different infill angles and printing patterns were assessed by comparing their 2D noise power spectra to determine the conditions that produced minimal and uniform noise. A backfilling approach in which additional polymer was extruded into an existing 3D printed background layer was developed to create multiple levels of image contrast. RESULTS: A print with nine infill angles and a rectilinear infill pattern was found to have the best uniformity, but the printed objects were not as uniform as a commercial phantom. An HU dynamic range of 600 was achieved by changing the infill percentage from 40% to 100%. The backfilling technique enabled control of up to eight levels of contrast within one object across a range of 200 HU, similar to the range of soft tissue. A contrast detail phantom with six levels of contrast and an anthropomorphic liver phantom with four levels of contrast were printed with a single material. CONCLUSION: This work improves the uniformity and levels of contrast that can be achieved with fused filament fabrication, thereby enabling researchers to easily create more detailed physical phantoms, including realistic, anthropomorphic textures.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tong, H; Pegues, H; Samei, E; Lo, JY; Wiley, BJ

Published Date

  • April 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 2582 - 2589

PubMed ID

  • 35191035

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2473-4209

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/mp.15494


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States