3D printed brain?

http://3dprint.com/92071/your-brain-on-3d-printing/

You can 3D print your own brain.

This Is Your Brain On 3D Printing

If you’ve been through the experience of having a complete MRI brain scan, and you’re not squeamish about such things, you might be interested in building a scale model 3D print of your brain itself.

That MRI scan data means you now have the option to print your brain.

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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.

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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.

His step-by-step description of the process results in an .STL file, but he says there’s a bit of work left to be done after that. He uses MeshLab to clean up model up prepare for printing.

Brain Scan 3D Print

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.

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3dprint.com

by  | AUGUST 28, 2015

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3D printing on an inflatable substrate

http://3dprint.com/73830/3d-printing-on-inflatable/

Fergal Coulter

3D Printing on an Inflatable Substrate

Fergal Coulter is a lecturer and PhD candidate at the College of Art & Design and Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University. He has experience in the additive manufacture of tubular, dielectric, elastomer Minimum Energy Structures, cardiac assist devices, auxetic structures, soft robotics and printed electronics.

His latest project, 3D scanning and printing on inflated structures, uses multiple layers of hard silicone – Shore A 73 hardness to be precise – to create seamless, hexachiral structures on an inflated silicone balloon.

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The soft silicone is sprayed onto an air-permeable mandrel which is then inflated and 3D scanned. Those scans are used to calculate geometries for 3D printed forms which are then extruded on to the inflated mandrel using a much harder silicone. The specific geometries being printed are auxetic, ‘hexachiral honeycomb’ structures.

Such auxetic structures have the potential to be used in a wide range of applications from deployable and morphing structures to various medical treatments, soft robotics and artificial muscles.

In this particular case the structures are used to constrain some of the pre-stretch that is imparted in the balloon during inflation. The entire printed structure is to be used in artificial muscles (or more specifically ‘Dielectric Elastomer Actuators’) for in-vivo prosthetics. Rather than using a conventional external actuator of some sort, dielectric elastomers can be made to change form and size through the application of a voltage across a thin rubber membrane. Their efficiency is greatly increased if they are held in a stretched form.

The “auxetic hexachiral structures” can be tailored and tuned for a stiffness response, by varying material hardness, thickness or the tangent angle of the straight line ‘ligaments’.

When the extruded layers of silicone are cured, the balloon mandrel is deflated finally settling into what is termed a Minimum Energy Structure (MES).

Coulter is also working on what are called “smart aortic grafts,” which researchers hope can one day be implanted into a removed section of the ascending aorta to improve the heart’s efficiency. Using “smart materials” that expand when a voltage is applied to them, these origami-esque auxetic techniques can be made to collapse and expand.

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The idea is that the grafts will create a counter blood-flow by aping the ‘beating’ response of the heart out of phase with the diseased heart. As the heart fills with blood, the woven tube contracts to increase pressure in the heart. When the heart pumps oxygenated blood around the body, the tube is essentially stimulated to expand and release the pressure, thereby increasing blood flow.

Coulter and his fellow researchers use 3D printing techniques which can be tailored to a patient using MRI scan data.

Working with team leader “Dr Anton Ianakiev, Coulter says the findings are groundbreaking stuff which has the potential to be more effective than current therapies.

Can you think of any applications for this 3D printing on an inflatable substrate technique? Let us know in the Inflatable 3D Printing Substrate forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 17, 2015

3D printed mobile bicycle-powered air compressor

http://3dprint.com/68116/3d-print-your-own-mobile-bicycle-powered-air-compressor/

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3D Print Your Own Mobile Bicycle-Powered Air Compressor

When he’s not working at Rusty Taco in Plano, TX, Brooks Ruhman is a student at The University of Texas at Austin.

Brooks Ruhman

He’s also a maker with a wicked sense of the absurd, and as a demonstration of that playful nature, Ruhman built himself a neat project which uses the motion of a bicycle wheel to drive an off-the-shelf car tire compressor. The parts for the project were fabricated using 3D printing and laser cutting and a whole bunch of ingenuity.

According to Ruhman, you can find a whole passel of things to use the compressor for from storing the compressed air in a tank to inflating tires to powering a misting system to keep you cool to pumping up a handlebar-mounted water gun.

Ruhman did the design and fabrication work for his project at the University of Texas Maker Studio using a Makerbot 3D printer and a Full Spectrum Professional Laser Cutter.

He says the air compressor itself was purchased cheap online – about $15 for the version he used – and once the plastic shroud and the electric motor of the original are removed and saved, you’ll be left with a “bare minimum air compressor; just a mechanical piston driven by a nylon gear.”

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Ruhman designed the parts for his mobile compressor in SolidWorks.

“The flywheel was constructed with a combination of laser cut and 3D printed parts. If you don’t have access to a laser cutter, you could definitely complete this with any other circular object such as the bottom of a bucket or a coffee tin lid,” Ruhman says. “Basically the flywheel has to be both of a reasonable diameter for the area that you’re working with behind the bike seat, and sturdy enough to undergo the damage of road wear. I used two laser cut circles – made from 1/4” acrylic – and connected them with 3D printed spacers. The flywheel was connected to the assembly with a 3D printed faceplate.”

Ruhman then used a 20×12 Full Spectrum Professional laser cutter to make the acrylic pieces he needed, and those were designed in a program called Inkscape.

The flywheel was an 8″ diameter circle cut from a 1/4″ clear acrylic sheet, and the mounting bracket is made from that material as well. The entire system is mounted to the seat post and extends out over the tire and it was assembled using standard, off the shelf hardware like small nuts and bolts.

Ruhman says his compressor is connected to a long hose which can reach anywhere on the bike and can be used to pump up a tank or power a handlebar mounted water gun.

Check out Ruhman’s detailed Instructable on the project here…

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What do you think of Brooks Ruhman’s mobile bicycle-powered air compressor? Will you make one for yourself? Let us know in the Mobile Bicycle-powered Air Compressor forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | MAY 26, 2015

3D printed film

http://3dprint.com/57088/3d-printed-animated-film/

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Animator Creates a 3D Printed Film Using 2,500 3D Printed Pieces

Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud has worked in the visual effects industry as a digital artist and animator for the last seven years, and during that time he’s experimented with various animation techniques which made use of painting and drawing.

At the moment, Deschaud is doing his PhD research at the Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis in Motion Picture and Film studies, but it’s his most recent experimentation – and the discovery of 3D printing – that led him to create Chase Me, a hauntingly beautiful stop-motion animation film.

Over the course of two years, Deschaud modeled and built 2,500 3D printed pieces which he then manipulated to make Chase Me, a story about a young girl embracing her fears — and turning them into something beautiful.

He designed each frame of the film in CG before translating the images for processing via 3D printing. All the sets and characters for Chase Me were printed at 100 micron resolution, and Deschaud says they required only minimal finishing once the support material was removed.

“When I first saw the Form 1 3D printer on Kickstarter, I knew that was what I needed to make a 3D printed film,” he says. “I wanted to bring 3D printing technology to the art of stop-motion animation to create a new kind of film. I wouldn’t been able to have such tiny, complex and detailed prints without the Form 1 printer.”

One of the very detailed set pieces, a gnarled tree, took about a week to print on the Form 1+ and it’s composed of 22 separate parts. The finished project was about 50 x 40 x 35 cm, and the ground beneath the tree was sculpted from plasticine before all the pieces were bent and glued together. It’s but one feature of the dozen sets which Deschaud built for the film.

In total, the character and set pieces consumed some 80 liters of resin to create. The process of making all the various sets and character required approximately 10 months of continuous printing, and the artist says that represents some 6,000 hours in total.

“Users like Gilles-Alexandre, who are doing incredible things with the Formlabs 3D printer, inspire us to keep doing what we do,” says ” says Max Lobovksy, the co-founder of Formlabs.”Chase Me is beautiful – and powerfully moving – both in aesthetics and its attention to detail.”

You can find out more about Deschaud’s film by visiting chasemefilm.com.

Formlabs was founded in 2012 by a team of engineers and designers from the MIT Media Lab and Center for Bits and Atoms. Their SLA printers are used with a suite of high-performance materials for 3D printing and intuitive 3D printing software.

What do you think of the sets and characters created for Chase Me? Let us know in the 3D Printed Animation forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out more images from Chase Me below.

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3dprint.com

by  | APRIL 14, 2015

3D printed DJ helmet

http://3dprint.com/56545/3dsphere-3d-printed-dj-helmet/

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3DSphere Builds a Very Cool 3D Printed DJ Helmet

The team at Belarus-based firm 3DSphere, 3dsfera.by, created a very cool project they call “Helmet for DJ,” and it’s a sort of Daft Punk piece of headgear which includes the requisite electronics and lighting to make you stand out from the crowd at your next dance event.

The 3DSphere helmet project was aimed at topping off part of a full suit which would feature in a music and light show, and they began by modeling their vision in 3D to determine the construction methods and cost estimates for the piece.

The main part of this helmet was then printed with a Stratasys Fortus 400 mc, and the 3D printing took a full 12 hours to complete.

The team initially divided the work into nine separate elements:

  • Preparation
  • Development of a 3D model
  • Calculating costs and selecting the materials
  • Printing 3D prototype models
  • Vacuum forming the faceplate glass
  • Final parts preparation and painting
  • Assembly
  • Completing the interior finish and fitment
  • Making and testing the electrical connections

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Working from a “very brief description” provided by their customer, the team started out by creating an image while considering how they would take on ventilation issues and calculating the loads on stress-bearing elements of the case.

They then created 3D models for a given range of standard head sizes and tested the structural strength of the model and chose locations for ribs or openings in the helmet they’d use for ventilation.

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Once they had a 3D model in hand, that work allowed them to select the process and contractors they needed to do the various manufacturing pieces of the job, and after some thought, they decided on the order they’d take on the various elements.

First, they decided to 3D print the main part of the helmet, then to vacuum form the transparent glass and then take on the painting, glass insertion, interior finishes, and, finally, make and test all the electrical connections.

The facemask portion of the helmet was made with transparent Plexiglas. It was then polished, covered with a special varnish, and re-polished. The material was then ready to be placed in a GEISS T9 thermoforming machine for shaping.

The helmet was then lined with a natural hypoallergenic material which was sewn onto a leather base to make it easy to remove in case it needed servicing in the future.

LED strip lighting was then manually pasted into the helmet and connected to a microprocessor.

3DSphere says the entire process took some 22 days, which didn’t include weekends, but did include a few extra days to secure approval from the client.

Along with taking on projects like this very professional-looking DJ Helmet,3DSphere sells 3D printers and supplies, and they say they’re the first suppliers of printers and materials in the Republic of Belarus. What do you think of this DJ helmet from 3DSphere in Belarus? Let us know in the 3D Printed DJ Helmet forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | APRIL 8, 2015

3D printing being used in disaster relief

http://3dprint.com/56149/3d-printing-disaster-relief/

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Power to the People – 3D Printing Being Used in Disaster Relief

Dara Dotz is a pioneer in 3D printing in troubled and sparse environments. She’s the founder of iLab Haiti, a project which brought 3D printers as part of an aid package to that country following the catastrophic earthquake that devastated that nation in 2010.

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck beneath Port-au-Prince, and aid groups did their best to battle the massive logistical and medical emergency challenges they faced, as the Red Cross estimated that up to 50,000 deaths had occurred, and many more individuals were grievously injured.

Dotz works with Made In Space, a company which has made headlines for building a variety of projects involving 3D printing objects in space, in conjunction with NASA and the International Space Station. She and Eric James, the Director of FieldReady.org, are intent on changing the outcome of communities faced with the problems of recovery from the aftermath of a natural disaster or war. They say that 3D printing promises to revolutionize the way humanitarian-aid supply chains function.

3D printed umbilical cord clamp Haiti

James has nearly two decades of experience in leading disaster relief and development projects, and he’s the author ofManaging Humanitarian Relief: An Operational Guide for NGOs.

Field Ready says that the supply chain for disaster relief projects includes agents, middlemen, functionaries, and bureaucrats who insert themselves into the process of delivering goods and services to affected areas, and that those interactions lead to heavy lead times, and require good information systems and well-trained staff. But they add that all those efforts need to be precisely focused on the needs of disaster affected people.

“To date, the focus has been on stockpiling, distribution of cash and improving basic efficiencies, but there has been little done to transform the situation,” James says. “And so it calls for disruption. Instead of relying solely on the supply chain—what if we could make much of what was needed onsite–or at least nearby? If we can do it in space, we can do it here too.”

James says Field Ready combines 3D printing with low-tech innovation such as “hyper-local” manufacturing to provide aid workers and those affected by disasters with tools to help them overcome the weaknesses of the current system.

FieldReady-dotz

Using 3D printers like the UP Miniand MakerBot Replicator, the team collaborates with health practitioners to design solutions such as medical disposables. They printed a prototype prosthetic hand which uses just five parts, as well as a butterfly-needle holder, a prototype screwdriver, prototype pipe clamps, and bottles. James says that while needed items like those would take weeks–and perhaps even months–to make their way to a disaster area, a few 3D printers and spools of filament can make those items available immediately.

Throughout its history, Haiti has suffered developmental and humanitarian challenges, and the earthquake of 2010 brought conditions there to a tipping point. James says nearly every sector of the country is stressed, and that pioneering aspects of in-situ manufacturing means Field Ready is deploying a team of specialists to Port-au-Prince to take on challenges in select health facilities. A grant provided by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund means Field Ready are poised to work with Haiti Communitere, Ti Kay Haiti, and MamaBaby Haiti to make medical disposables and pilot the use of recycling plastic filament.

According to James, others groups like Oxfam and partners Griffith University and My Mini Factory have similar initiatives underway in Kenya, and the Innovation & Planning Agency (IPA) in Jordan does as well. Yet another group,eNable, has been working to print prosthetic limbs using an all-volunteer-based approach.

“Humanitarian relief is still messy, tough and perplexing,” James says. “Aid is provided in the most difficult places on earth, and relief situations are the outcomes of catastrophic failure–usually, a collapse of cooperation and good governance.”

Field Ready says they hope to alleviate the problems by providing more direct, immediate technological intervention.

In 2013 alone, 334 “country-level natural disasters” affected the world, occurring across 109 countries.

Do you know of any other ways 3D printing technology is disrupting the status quo and solving problems around the world? Let us know in the 3D Printing Disaster Relief forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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iLab Haiti

3dprint.com

by  | APRIL 6, 2015