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Keywords:

  • Confocal microscopy;
  • selective laser sintering;
  • free form fabrication;
  • visualization;
  • three-dimensional image processing

SUMMARY

We discuss and give examples of the use of selective laser sintering to fabricate solid macroscopic models of microscopic specimens that have been imaged with a confocal microscope. The digital image processing necessary to create structurally sound models of both translucent and opaque specimens is presented. The fabricated models offer the ultimate in data visualization since they can be physically handled and manipulated to investigate the shape and features of the specimen. Such a powerful visualization tool is useful in both research and educational environments.