NIH Scientific Review

From: Lone Peak Engineering, Inc. (
Date: Tue Jan 21 1997 - 03:25:24 EET

Dear RP Community:

Many of you are interested in medical rapid prototyping and some of you may
know that Lone Peak Engineering is involved in RP materials development
projects - primarily sponsored by the US Government. DARPA has been a
major support area for the US-based RP materials research.

Recently, Lone Peak submitted a proposal on medical rapid prototyping
(construction of three-dimensional models from medical scan data in
emergency scenarios) to the United States National Institute of Health.
This proposal was not funded. While I realize that one can always improve
on the innovative nature of these submissions and that the chances of award
are low, I thought you might be interested in the review committees

This is what the " NIH Multi Disciplinary Sciences Special Emphasis Panel"
had as a critique of LPE's CT and MR scan data to RP model proposal. What
follows is taken directly from the letter that LPE received from the panel.

" The emphasis (of the LPE proposal) is on the speed an accuracy of the
plastic model that will be delivered to the surgeon to assist in
pre-operative planning of emergency surgery. Under certain circumstances
an accurate 3D plastic model may be valuable for this purpose, thus the
application has some merit. However, there are companies that are already
setup to generate plastic mold from CT scans and presumably a plastic model
could be constructed and delivered rapidly if there were a demand for this
capability. Thus the innovative aspects of the proposal are questionable."

"In addition, software for 3D rendering which allows one to produce 3D
volume images not only from one modality but from a fusion of
multi-modalities is readily available, and given the rapid developments in
computer technology and teleradiology, it is likely that 3D rendered images
could be made available to a surgeon for pre-operative planning in a matter
of minutes. Although an actual 3D plastic model may have certain
advantages in some applications, the 3D rendered images contain more
information and will probably be adequate in most cases. Thus the
significance of the proposed application is also marginal. The commercial
potential probably would be low".

----- Now maybe I am wrong but it sounds like the committee does not think
too much of medical rapid prototyping. They defintely did not like our
proposal. I wonder if they got a copy of the JTEC report? The Chairperson
of the committee is:

Dr. Tom Miller
Professor of Radiology
Division of Nuclear Medicine
Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO 63110

I believe his email is: and his phone number is

There are 21 people listed on this committee. I would be happy to send
their names and addresses to anyone interested.

Alair Griffin
Lone Peak Engineering, Inc.
Draper, UT USA

Lone Peak Engineering, Inc.
12660 S. Fort St.
Draper, UT 84020
801-553-1732 TEL
801-553-1734 FAX

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