This isn’t science fiction. ThinkerThing’s goal is to develop a system for actually reading your thoughts and sending them directly to a 3D printer for production. They say:
We have built a machine that will allow you to make real objects with your mind.
Incredible as this sounds, it does seem doable by combining the magic of 3D printing with Emotiv’s EPOC brain sensor. The EPOC is a “high resolution, multi-channel, wireless neuroheadset” that is capable of detecting electrical signals emanating from within your brain.
That’s correct – it reads your mind.
ThinkerThing’s project is to meld a neuroheadset with 3D printing software and hardware to enable creation of objects simply by mind control. The project was funded by the Chilean government and a small (now closed) Indiegogo campaign.
They believe significant barriers exist for children to use 3D printing technology, primarily the expensive and highly complex 3D development software currently in use. Their project hopes to eliminate that barrier, enabling children to “build real objects with no prior experience”.
The software uses a generative technique based on an initial seed framework. The designer’s “thinking” directs the generative process to arrive at a final 3D model. Their first application, called “Monster Dreamer”, permits children to direct the development of creature 3D models merely by thought. It seems that they plan to develop a line of such “dreamers” for different types of models.
We’ve seen several interesting techniques trying to simplify the process of 3D design, but this one is surely the most interesting.