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First 3D-printed object direct from brain

A Chilean company claims to have printed a 3D object directly from a user's imagination.

(Credit: ThinkerThing)

A Chilean company claims to have printed a 3D object directly from a user's imagination.

Currently, if you want to 3D print something, you have to think of it, then model it, then send the file to the printer. According to Chilean company ThinkerThing, that might just be one long step (modelling) too many. What if, it poses, you could print a 3D object directly from your brain?

That is what the company is claiming to have achieved. Using a special headset called the EmotivEPOC, which can monitor brainwaves, CTO George "Kongo" Laskowsky Ziguilinsky has printed a 3D object by just thinking about it.

The headset is actually designed for use with a software tool. On-screen, the user is presented with a base template that ThinkerThing calls a "DNA base". With the headset on, the user then thinks about how that base is to evolve, growing it into a 3D monster, translating the electrical activity of the brain into shapes.

The EmotivEPOC headset. (Credit: ThinkerThing)

Laskowsky Ziguilinsky's object is pretty simple — just the arm and fingers of one of the monsters. The government-funded program, which is designed for children, aims to inspire creativity by taking technical difficulty out of the equation.

Some interesting work has been happening recently in direct neurological interfacing — from the frivolousto the useful, through to the scientifically fascinating.

In fact, earlier this year, Japanese scientists revealed that they had found a way to see what was in people's dreams. The technology isn't perfect yet — but with a way to visualise thoughts seemingly not far away, it's possibly only a matter of time until printing those visualisations becomes a reality.