AMS Spring 2023

With This 3D Printed Brain, I Thee Wed – Neuroscientist Gives His Bride His Brain

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Michael Mack

Michael Mack

Interestingly enough, there have been several known weddings or wedding engagements which have relied heavily on 3D printing. Whether it’s a personalized 3D printed engagement ring, a 3D printed wedding band with an actual piece of the moon in it, or 3D printed wedding cake toppers featuring the bride and the groom, getting married certainly has its share of 3D printed wonderfulness.

With that said, no one could have predicted the gift that one neuroscientist would provide his bride (also a neuroscientist) on their wedding day.

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Meg Mack

Michael Mack, a Computational Cognitive Neuroscientist, and currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, studying human learning and memory, wanted to give his wife-to-be something special, but something that definitely was not cliche. Both Michael, and his wife-to-be Meg, are in the midst of studying human memory with fMRI at the University of Texas at Austin, working together, dealing with brains.

“Like most, I wanted a special gift for my wife on our wedding day,” explained Michael on his blog. “I wanted to surprise her with a gift that best symbolized me giving her all that I am. But, being scientists, the notion of giving one’s ‘heart’ just didn’t cut it.”

So, what’s the body part that a neuroscientist would naturally think of next?… you guessed it, the brain. Michael obviously couldn’t perform a procedure and give his wife-to-be his actual brain to symbolize the incredible love and affection he had for her, therefore he did the next best thing.

Michael created a 3D model of his brain from a scan that he had done previously. He told us, that to create the model, he followed a guide which can be found here. From there, he worked with Nathan Tone at makezyx, who 3D printed the model for him on a MakerBot Replicator 2, out of PLA thermoplastic. When the wedding day came around, Michael provided the woman of his dreams a little jar, and inside was a miniature model of his brain.

“I wasn’t there when she opened it (pre-wedding gift exchange), but her maid of honor explained that she was very surprised, hesitated a moment, then realized ‘oh my god, is this his brain?!’,” Michael explained to 3DPrint.com.
What would your reaction be if your significant other provided you with a 3D printed version of their brain on your wedding day?  Discuss this story in the 3D printed brain forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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[Image Credits: Luis and Clarissa at Iluvphoto.com]

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