Thanks to 3D printing understanding of the complex neural pathways of the human brain became a little bit easier. The Philadelphia-based Franklin Institute's new exhibit, Your Brain, features a striking 3D printed model of the white matter tracts of the human brain. White matter tracts are the pathways that nerve cells use to connect to each other inside the brain, and are incredibly complex.
Dr. Jayatri Das, chief bioscientist at The Franklin Institute, incorporated the displays in a new expansion. The model was built from an MRI scan of a real brain and was then printed using the SLS print method from 3D Systems. It shows approximately 2000 tracts. Printing such a delicate structure proved to be quite a challenge and the project was turned down by several 3D printing bureaus before it was accepted by an outfit in Oklahoma. The model was printed in 10 separate parts and then assembled.
This is truly an amazing advance in anatomic visualization. It's truly beautiful - a piece of art.
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Source and images: 3D Systems