Full-size MRI Machine Replica

Foam MRI machine

It’s been a bit dusty lately in Seattle’s Metrix Create:Space. That’s because they’ve taken on their biggest project yet — a full scale replica of an MRI machine for university research.

[Tom Grabowski], a professor of Radiology & Neurology at the University of Washington, needed a replica MRI machine. This is because time on real MRI machines is very expensive, and when performing research on Autism, it is important to get the test subjects used to the process before using the real deal. He originally turned to the Center for Human Development and Disability, also at the University of Washington, but the project was just simply too big for their facilities. He did however get to meet a fellow researcher named [Fritz] who then contacted Metrix to see if it was possible, and like any good hackers, the members of the space were more than up for the challenge.

The replica MRI machine is made out 2″ thick, 4′ by 8′ foam insulation sheets, which is the maximum size their router can handle. Not having made use of the 3D z-cutting capabilities before, they had a bit of learning to do, but as you can see from the pictures, it worked out quite well. Over a few weeks they were able to construct the general shape of the MRI machine, and finish the surface nicely — it’s far from complete though, as they might even be adding lights and other features to make it one heck of a replica. It’s a great project, and those who have helped are happy to do so as the replica will benefit not only [Tom] but many other researchers at UW — for science, yeah!

Comments

  1. Joost says:

    Wouldn’t the original MRI supplier be kind enough to supply only the plastic shell part for a decent price?

  2. matt says:

    So does this make the same noises a real MRI machine does?

  3. Bpaton says:

    Or you could just use one of the commercially available MRI simulators with moving parts and the correct sound effects.

    • Haku says:

      A kid freaking out and damaging the simulator could cost a whole lot to repair/replace if it were a commercially available one, but the foam one they could just get the original makers to CNC new pieces. Plus as it’s made of foam the kid may not hurt themselves as much as a plastic molded version.

  4. Adobe/Flash hater says:

    Nice set piece Hope these people are involved with theater productions too!
    any ideas for emulating that hard clatter?
    I don’t imagine a chessy pc speaker set will match the stim triggers
    the the real hardware probably
    raises for the intended guests.

    perhaps some old heavy solenoids
    and alarm buzzers (not bells)
    and some 3/8 & 5/8 plates
    affixed to some manor of wooden
    framework embedde.
    into the facade.
    Might be a bit late with my thought though.
    But Good luck with it guys,
    I hope it does the trick.

  5. Braden says:

    That is so awesome especially because I am a UW student

  6. pcf11 says:

    Of course if they were by a boat builder they could have did it the real way. This is a tiny hull machine

    http://standoutonline.ca/~marinepl/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/CNC-Cutting-boat-hull.gif

  7. adobe/Flash hater says:

    Bahh. stream of thought typing
    whilst acquiescing to spell check,
    bites me in the keister again.
    …should have written 3/8 & 5/8 steel plates.
    interesting how no comments were visible when I started typing and then
    viola.

    and it’s still like typing on an adding machine, in this little box.
    You guys swipe,~ errh ah uhm
    cough, license the template from the
    “end-user license agreement” box people?

  8. Jonah says:

    Not sure if you have ever seen this but GE did some amazing work to make kids feel more comfortable with MRI’s…watch the video it will really impact you….unless of course your heart is made of stone.

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