mri, brain, scan, stl, 3d printing, printBrain science is a critical avenue for biological research. Tens of millions of dollars are being pumped into projects to map and understand how the human brain functions.

All this high profile research has led to increasing public interest in neuroscience.

How much interest?  Last week somebody with the user name intirb posted a tutorial that will show you how to 3d print a model of your brain on the image-sharing site Imgur.

To get started you’ll need an MRI image of your head. While that might seem to put the brakes on this tutorial immediately, intirb has some good advice for getting your own brain scan. “If you don't have an MRI image of your head, the easiest way to get one is to ask around at your local university in the psychology or neuroscience department.”

In most instances if you sit down to help them with their research you can walk away with your very own, very accurate brain scan.

Once you’ve got your own brain scan in hand you’ll need to convert it into a solid object using a piece of freeware called FreeSurfer. Once that’s done simply downsample the number of surfaces in your model and send it out to be printed.  

Although intirb’s tutorial has a few time-consuming steps, its an awesome illustration of just how powerful and interconnected technology has become. Nowadays we all can get access to tools we would need to print an accurate model of the most sophisticated computer known to man, the human brain. 

Future uses for models similar to what intirb created will likely give scientists better ways to communicate with patients and possibly diagnose neurological conditions.

Image Courtesy of intirb at Imgur

 

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