To say that a lot of good has come from Materialise’s Mimics Innovation Suite would be a gross understatement. The 3D modeling software has saved lives by enabling the design of complex 3D medical models, and it’s even helped solve an ancient murder mystery. It’s a versatile and extremely popular software suite across multiple clinical and research fields, and Materialise has been reliable in keeping the software updated, releasing a new version of the suite about once a year. Their last upgrade came in May of 2015, and now, right on schedule, Materialise has announced the release of the newest iteration of the software: Mimics Innovation Suite 19.
The new and improved Mimics offers a few new features and plenty of improved features that make modeling simpler and faster. Anyone who has created a 3D medical model knows that segmenting a CT or MRI scan is the most time-consuming and labor-intensive part of the process, and Mimics 19 introduces several new tools to make segmentation much speedier. A Split Tool automatically splits two adjacent tissues by marking them with a few slices, and a more intuitive Contour Editing tool allows you to more easily fine-tune your model. A live 3D Mask Preview lets you quickly view and evaluate your work, and the suite now also enables switching between 2D and 3D editing in a single operation.
“The split tool is a great addition to the base functionality of the Mimics software! It saves a lot of time on segmentation by requiring the user to only make selections on one slice,” says biomedical engineer and beta tester Danielle Beski. “The new 3D preview tool is a great way to see changes in real time without having to recalculate 3D models multiple times!”
Speaking of making things easier, Mimics 19 contains some new tools to lessen the headaches often generated by FEA (finite element analysis) meshing. A new uniform mesh algorithm improves triangle quality and lessens the calculation time required for even the most complex geometries. A new non-manifold assembly algorithm has also been added, allowing users to more easily combine multiple parts – e.g., a bone and an implant – in a single mesh.
The new algorithms generate meshes that are ready for use in the most common commercially available solvers, meaning that users no longer have to create multiple designs for different software packages. The changes not only make FEA meshing easier and more accessible to novices, but also speed things up for experienced users – much to their relief.
“The grid system non-manifold assembly is a potential game changer. I will no longer have to spend hours or even days on getting complex meshes ready for FEA,” says user Dr. Jonathan Ford of the University of South Florida. “This is a dream come true.”
Additional upgrades include faster file saving, X-ray module improvements, an updated CT Heart tool, and the ability to include measurements, annotations and analytical primitives in your 3D PDF exports – plus a lot more. For additional information, tutorials, and release notes fully explaining all upgrades – and to download Mimics 19 – go here. Discuss further in the Materialise Mimics 19 3D Software forum over at 3DPB.com.
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