IN FOCUS: Making your mind up: 3D printing of brains for Cardiff Museum’s Brain Games 2018

Above: Guess which animal species. Some of the 3D printed brains for the Brain Games 2018 event.

How many of you can tell the difference between the brains of, say, a human, a black rhino and a Sloth bear? Nope, me neither, but apparently, when it comes to brains, it’s not just size that counts (see below). This conundrum is one of the many fab activities on offer this weekend at the National Museum of Wales annual Brain Games event funded by the Society for Neuroscience and highlighting the range of brain-related research undertaken at Cardiff University.

In the build up to the event, our very own Pete Watson in collaboration with Emma Lane (PHRMY) has been 3D printing brains from a wide variety of animal species, including human, on the Bioimaging Hub’s Ultimaker 3 extended dual colour 3D printer. However, just to make things a little more challenging, they’ve generated two sets of 3D prints: the first set of brains are anatomically correct scale models, the other set have all been 3D printed at an identical size – and it’s up to you, dear reader, to determine which brain belongs to what animal species.

Above are a small selection of the 3D printed brains that will be on display at the National Museum this Sunday, including a glow in the dark brain from…well, that would be telling wouldn’t it?!

AJH

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