While an extensive variety of 3D imaging data is being produced by the medical and research communities, distribution is often limited to 2D images of 3D objects. This mode of distribution can present barriers to the communication and reuse of these valuable datasets. NLM3D, an open-source library of medical 3D models was created as a solution to bridge some of these barriers, beginning with the NLM Visible Human Project datasets. With the success of the Visible Human pilot datasets, the following work was designed to expand the NLM3D collection to include 3D models derived from scanned histological sections from the Carnegie human embryo collection. 

This project utilizes scanned histological sections of human embryos from the Carnegie Collection. The general principles of model creation remain the same as from other medical imaging formats, however, lower section resolution and distortion of the anatomy with tissue processing techniques presented unique challenges.




Felix Donghwi Son



Kristen Brown

Anne Altemus

National Library of Medicine,

National Institute of Health


Researchers in Health Science Community


Print, Poster 

30" x 40"


3D Slicer

Pixologic Zbrush

Autodesk Maya

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator