How to create a 3D model of your brain...

  • Volunteer for medical research on memory to help develop treatment for Alzheimer's and have your brain scanned by an MRI machine.
  • Ask for the data files from the Structural Scan (they should give you this due to data-protection rules but you may have to pay a small admin fee).
  • Write a computer program to load in the files and display them graphically on the screen.
  • Remove the skull from the data-file, by first trying to develop an algorithm which radially scans through the voxels looking for increased density, and then giving up and using a piece of freeware called MRIcro instead.
  • Add a routine to your program that can export the data as an STL file, or export as DXF and use Rhinoceros to convert it into an STL file.
  • Find someone like Metropolitan Works who have a 3D rapid prototype machine and are willing (for a price) to print out models for the general public.
  • Take a nice photo of it for your website.
  • And then agree to loan it to the Royal Society for them to use as part of an exhibition on human anatomy. (The one on the right is a wax sculpture and NOT to scale)
  • And then make a copy in colour to give to the Science Museum for them to use as part of a 3D printing exhibition. (placed in the "medical" section along with skulls and replacement hips