Alzheimer's brain model: Part 2


I connected with someone through the Milwaukee Athletic Club, who happens to be a very talented engineer with a 3d printer. A few months ago my brother also bought a 3d printer, so after working on my model in Zbrush, I had them both print it.

These are the results! They printed nicely, and I was happy with the level of definition. My brother's print is in the grey, the other print in the white. The white printer even made the Alzheimer's side less dense, so you can feel the weight difference. Alzheimer's brains weigh up to 10% less than healthy brains.  

This is round one, as I am experimenting with ZBrush and also with 3d printing on new printers. Edits for the next round that are currently underway:

  •  Make another cross section on each side and show how the white matter shrinks while the grey matter largely remains the same

  •  Work on a base for them to sit in

  •  Add greater spacing to the Alzheimer's side so it's more obvious which side has Alzheimer's. 

  •  Start thinking about mass production, and how much detail is actually attainable with a steel or flexible mold.

I've had these brains on my coffee table for a few months, and watching people interact with them has been good user research. Everyone asks if they are supposed to fit together, and are annoyed that they don't. So I want to incorporate a base that they can nest in nicely, and satisfy everyone's desire for things to fit together!

Heidi SchlehleinComment