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  • Susan Elaine Jones

It's what's under the skin that counts

I love it when a plan comes together.

I've finally met all the right people and I'm making progress.

I am working on 3D printing a skull from a live person! What I needed first was someone's CT scan... and thanks to various health complaints I found someone who had a scan for multiple myeloma!

CT X-ray of Sue's skeleton

Then I found a wonderful chap who works at Addenbrookes' hospital, making 3D prints of various broken and wonky bits of people to help surgeons figure out how to fix them. He could get the data out of my CT scan and create a 3D file in a more friendly format. And he could play with the settings on density etc to pull out skin or bone. And make it into something that can be sent to a 3D printer!

(I'm making this all sound easy. It really isn't, and I've had to rely on some wonderful people to fix the files, make them suitable for a 3D printer, fill in holes where the bone was thin, smooth out the lines from the 2.5mm slices and so on. After about 4 hours of watching how to videos on youtube, I can just about rotate and zoom in on a file in MeshLab and Meshmixer.)

Sue's head and skull from CT scan (hair not included)

Yes! That's the skull of a real live person!

Armed with these files, a couple of test 3D prints were made: one in flexible plastic at 20%, one in ceramic at 32%, and... I'm confident that this skull can be printed!

My 3D printed skull (in goth black!)

The next hurdle is doing one life size.

That costs about £450 :(

I'm putting all my Christmas money towards it. And hoping some other kind people may chip in through a GoFundMe project!

*** UPDATE ***

You lovely people chipped in more than enough, and a friend of a friend offered 3D printing for a better price... so I've got a 3D print done

Plots and schemes for what to do next abound... I have meetings, and plans... I'll keep you posted

It will all be revealed at the Dying for Life event "Fun things to do when you're dead" at the City Crematorium, Saturday 16th May 2020!

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