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Interactive anatomical 3d-visualisation powered by X3D/VRML




Interactive 3D Visualization technique represents an important diagnosis and therapy planning tool. It cannot be compensated with simple 2D Pictures or static 3D Views.

Multimedia teaching tools which contain textual information, non-interactive videos and restricted pseudo three-dimensional scenarios can considerably contribute to the understanding of medical facts by the completion of interactive 3D Components. Multiuser environments are also an important aspect to recognize coherence of single events in patients physical health and to support medical teachings.

Until now, these techniques are not applicable every time and everywhere. Insufficient software functionality and quality, competitive and proprietary software and hardware as well as different system requirements for visualization aggravated the distribution of interactive 3D Systems.

So far, there is no common standard for 3D Geometry in medicine, like the Dicom files. These files include medical 2D Images, patient information and acquisition details in a special syntax.

Besides many simple 3D File formats, there are also considerably "more intelligent" specifications, like the XML compliant X3D specification. The new system reduces or eliminates all disadvantages of the regular systems and opens new Potentials.


Legal information

This is a non profit research (diploma,master, phd - university of applied sciences dortmund) project in cooperation with the Gr�nemeyer Institute of Microtherapy and the University of Witten Herdecke.

Thanks to RSInc. (RSI Visible Human CD1.0), Gr�nemeyer Institute of Microtherapy (Dicom CT, MR), Johannes Hospital Dortmund (Dicom CT) and Prof. Dr. Dr. H.G. Lipinski - University of Applied Sciences (Various CT, MR) for the Image Datasets.


Features (public Version 1.0.0)

  • 3D-Generator reads and creates 3d data from DICOM, JPG, BMP, RAW
  • VRML97/X3D compliant, tested with viper (vrml) and most known plugins on different OSs (vrml,x3d)
  • Platform-independent, uses a standard Browser Plugin (Best viewed with Cortona,BS-Contact,Freewrl or GLView, because of missing/bad/buggy script-implementation in octagonfree,flux,openvrml,venues,horizon,casa,vrweb - on those browsers only limited features)
  • Works with PocketCortona on Pdas
  • Ergonomic x3d/vrml interface, also for full windowxp-tabletpc use
  • 3D-manipulation functions like 3d-volume/area measuring and 3d-annotations in X3D/VRML. Transformation of 2D markers into 3d space and back. Export to ISO-SVG-Code.
  • Access to the real world via java-servlets
  • Multiprocessing, multimonitor and multiuser realtime experience trough EAI and SAI, limited only by the java-socket-interface and EAI availability (IE)
  • Multiuser database control for the 3d-manipulation system via java-servlets
  • Dicom-source-browsing via java-servlets (on next version also texture mapping)
  • Easy StepIn3D-system for vrml/x3d-beginners (plugin installation, tips, os-control)
  • Anatomical X3D/VRML-data-generation for all greyscale-datasets like CT,MR in dicoms/jpg/bmp-files (volume surface rendering with marching cube), interactive rendering control and annotation support with virtual sound and text enhancement -modular design, pluggable features via the 3d-generator-authoring-tool
  • Export of dicom-tags (patient,physician, institute...) to XML files for integration in X3D-scenes
  • Supports also special devices: X3D/VRML-viewer-software like 4d-vision stereo display software, phantom force-feedback-system, actual-systems holo-viewer (reduced vrml subset)
  • Special stereoscopic support and interface-design on all stereo-enabled devices (nvidia...) with e.g. cortona or glview
  • Hardware support for spaceball and spacemouse over special emulator software for all vrml/x3d viewers (windows only)
  • DirectX-device-support via bs-contact joystick interface and cortona keyboard-interface via plugin-independent joystick-emulator(partially third party, thanks to www.deinmeister.de)
  • Programmable POS-Keyboard support for cortona keyboard-nodes -plugin independent realtime image manipulation in the 2d-gui and 3d-gui(windows only, but next version comes also for linux and mac) -

...and much more...


History, News, Version changes

01-01-2000 - 01-04-2003 # N-TV News report, Various Publiculations

22-04-2004 # interactive (X3D/VRML) Dicom2Texture-Test: Just enter your dicomfile and the file is directly rendered into 3d-space...

27-04-2004 # MedWorld3D-Demo (VRML), auto-generated by 3DGen...

27-04-2004 # Dicom2Texture (VRML) Large-File Demo...

15-06-2004 # Newspaper article about the university of applied sciences and the medical computer sciences working group in IT-Connect 02, May 2004 (only in german)

16-06-2004 # MedWorld3D is accepted for presentation at siggraph2004 in L.A. 

01-08-2004 # Video-Demo MedWorld3D (quicktime, mpeg-4, 18.5MByte, 400x300pixels): 3D-Gen Version 1.5.0, Worldeditor Version 2.0.0, Lumbal/Discus Puncture Simulator 2.5.0 ...

01-09-2004 # Siggraph 2004 Los Angeles is over. Infos in the download section.


System overview and Screenshots

  • Feature-Screenshots: HERE (low Quality .JPGs, Javascript Popup)
  • OS-Screenshots: HERE (low Quality .JPGs, Javascript Popup)
  • Video: Primary Download, Secondary Download (Quicktime .MOV, 19MB, Javascript Popup) 
  • Siggraph 2004 Review: HERE (Javascript Popup)

Screenshot overview generated by JAlbum 3.6.


Demos and Downloads

  • 3D-Generator
  • Java Marker Servlet and DB
  • Java Dicom Viewer Browser VRML/X3D Servlet
  • Java MIDP Dicom Decoder Application for Wireless Mobiles
  • Java J2SE Dicom Decoder Plugin
  • Java VRML/X3D-Reflector Servlet
  • Spacemouse/Spaceball to VRML/X3D-Browser Emulator
  • DirectX to VRML/X3D-Browser Emulator
  • 2D/3D Screen Magnifier and Manipulator


  • Dicom-Texture Tests and Demos (Javascript Popup): Embedding Medical Dicom files directly in VRML/X3D via Java-Servlets.
  • 3D-Generator generated Demoview (stripped down, not the full system functionality, Javascript Popup)



Upcoming Winter 04/Spring05. First version was implemented in pure MS-Visual-c++ and OpenGl. The new version uses the MedWorld3D-VRML/X3D-Core. It supports all the (interactive) features of MedWorld3D and some new components especially for microscopic visualization.


Teaser Images