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About The Cover

Cover image expansion

COVER Modern tactics to visualize data, such as rendering of patient data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), often rely on 2-D computer displays of 3-D data sets. Current 3-D printing methods have strong limitations when applied to complex or highly diverse data sets, but experts agree that such high-resolution physical representations of scientific data would provide a better way for scientists to understand and interact with many data sets. By extending advances in multimaterial 3-D printing, Bader et al. have created a new method to 3-D print complex scientific data sets as physical objects identical to their on-screen visualizations. This new approach eliminates the traditional need to create an intermediate "boundary" representation of an object—a step that can result in data alteration or information loss and thus, less-than-realistic physical manifestations. The method has potential application in a wide variety of fields including conservation and preservation of cultural artifacts, presurgical planning and education, to name a few. [CREDIT: THE MEDIATED MATTER GROUP]