3D-Doctor is a three-year-old program that uses Open GL to create 3D "snapshots" from 2D data such as MRI and CT scans. In a matter of seconds, or minutes, de pending on the complexity of the material desired, it renders and outputs the composited 3D polygonal files in a choice of many common formats, including DXF, 3DS, STL, and VRML. The program also contains vector-based editing tools that support easy image data handling, measurement, and analysis.
Although slower than hardware-based volume-rendering solutions, 3D-Doctor nonetheless provides a low-cost, practical way to view 3D data constructed from scans. Its hardware requirements are modest-the program will run on a Windows 95/98/NT Pentium-based desktop machine with as little as 32mb of memory (though 128mb is recommended for large-image rendering). It costs $2400 per license.
A free demo version is available at Able Software's Web site. (Able Software; Lex ington, MA; www.ablesw.com/3d-doctor)