A question that comes up on this forum from time to time is why we can’t just 3D print the volume rendered view. We explain that most printers today expect STL surface models and we go into the difference between volume rendering and surface segmentation.
I wanted to point out some just published research about new printing techniques that are much closer to directly printing out a volume rendering.
These are photographs of 3D prints made using this technique:
Here’s our paper that describes the method:
It still requires special printers and materials, but if the technique proves useful we can expect it to become more commonly available.