As for that MRI scan, you’ll need the sort of scan free of surrounding structures, and a radiologist can create a range of scans and analysis for the various elements of tissues.
Why you’d do this without significant motivation is anyone’s guess, but author and editor Richard Baguley went that route. He says once you request DICOM data of your brain, it’s possible to ask for a CD which includes the various scans, or failing that, go straight to your doctor to make the request–as the patient, it’s within your purview to ask for these files.
DICOM, or Digital Images and Communications in Medicine, data represents an open format which can be utilized by a range of medical systems.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging itself is amazing technology which uses a powerful magnetic field to react with the atoms of the human body to create a radio signal, and by shaping the resulting magnetic field, the MRI can map and capture the structure of the brain and its varying tissues and blood vessels.
Baguley says converting the images for 3D printing can be done via a host of free and open source software such as Slicerweb, Osirix, 3DSlicer and Invesialus. He uses InVesalius in his tutorial, finding it the most simple package to take on the task.
Ultimately, Baguley printed out his version of his brain via Cura and a Lulzbot TAZ 5 printer.
“I was quite pleased with how my print turned out. The convoluted texture of my grey matter was well captured and printed on the top of the brain, but the similar texture on the side wasn’t quite as clear,” Baguley says of the finished article. “That’s probably because of the way the scan was processed. I could get more detail on the side by using other scans and combining the results.”
He adds that with a satisfactory 3D model complete, he may well print it in a flexible plastic or laser-cut it from wood to produce an interesting ornament…because what do you really do with a 3D printed brain?
“Now I have the 3D model, the possibilities are endless. I could print it in flexible plastic to give my cats an amusing toy,” Baguley suggests cheekily. “I could laser-cut it out in wood to produce an interesting ornament. Or I could do a small print to have available the next time someone asks to speak to the brains of this organization….”
Baguley has been writing about technology for more than 20 years and his credits include work in Wired, Macworld, USA Today and Reviewed.com. You can read the exceptionally detailed documentation Baguley created for his Brain Printing Project here on Hackaday.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
3DXTECH Launches “Pellet to Part” Program for 3D Printing Materials
Always looking to shake up the material extrusion segment of 3D printing, Michigan-based 3DXTECH has introduced a novel initiative named the “Pellet to Part” program. To further drive collaboration with...
The AM Future is Big, and Robotic—Here’s Why
The past two years have seen a growing presence of robotics and large format solutions taking center stage in the AM industry. This “trend” seems to be set to stay...
ADAXIS: Navigating Robotic Additive Manufacturing with a US Market Focus
ADAXIS, a French-Swedish software company established in 2021, has become a key player in the field of Robotic Additive Manufacturing by offering advanced tool-pathing software solutions. The company is dedicated...
Now on Kickstarter: The “First Stable Desktop Pellet 3D Printer”
Kickstarter has been the graveyard for several high-profile 3D printers. The crowdfunding platform has also introduced numerous subpar 3D printers, alongside some truly outstanding ones. It was on Kickstarter that...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.