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Home < MeshingSummer2009

Key Investigators

  • University of Iowa: Nicole Grosland, Vince Magnotta, Kiran Shivanna
  • Isomics: Steve Pieper, Curtis Lisle


We are integrating finite element mesh creation tools developed at the University of Iowa into 3D Slicer. The result will be that 3D Slicer models can be further processed into meshes for analysis using external finite element programs, such as ABAQUS.

Approach, Plan

Standalone mesh creation tools exist in the standalone application IA-FEMesh found by clicking here.

The first integration of the IA-FEMesh module was released at the NA-MIC All Hands Meeting in January 2009. The module's first release functions in 3D Slicer for creating meshes interactively, but doesn't allow MRML saves & restores. The second implementation will use MRML display nodes to display the meshes and will support interactive exploration and editing using VTK 3D widgets.


The rendering and data storage methods have been modified to conform to Slicer's MRML architecture for separate model and display nodes. The three major classes of objects managed by IA-FEMesh (surfaces, building blocks, and meshes) are currently rendering in slicer using custom MRMLDisplayNode subclasses.

We have some minor remaining rendering issues, but Meshing module objects are now stored in MRML successfully. Over the next few months, we will complete the integration and testing of this approach and propagate changes back to the standalone code version of IA-FEMesh so future development of the standalone and integrated versions can continue from a single code base.

This recent work will remain in the Slicer Meshing-V-2-1 branch for now. The IA_FEMesh module V1, which matches the tutorial, is currently in the Slicer trunk and Slicer V3.4.


  • Grosland Nicole M; Shivanna Kiran H; Magnotta Vincent A; Kallemeyn Nicole A; DeVries Nicole A; Tadepalli Srinivas C; Lisle Curtis R; IA-FEMesh: an open-source, interactive, multiblock approach to anatomic finite element model development. Computer methods and programs in biomedicine 2009;94(1):96-107.
  • Shivanna KH, Grosland NM, Russell ME, Pedersen DR, Diarthrodial Joint Contact Models: A finite element analysis of the human hip, Engineering with Computers (accepted).