OpenBCI has developed an open source, 3D printable headset to record activity of the brain (EEG), muscles (EMG) and heart (EGG). When successfully funded on Kickstarter, Open BCI turned to Brooklyn-based 3D printing service Voodoo Manufacturing for the production of their 25,000 hardware parts to assemble 500 Mark IV Headsets to be shipped to backers.
Traditional manufacturing would have cost OpenBCI double the price that Voodoo Manufacturing charged to fulfill this order. Now, 3D printing is transforming the way hardware startups launch products, like the Mark IV Headset. Voodoo Manufacturing and other 3D printing companies are streamlining the production process, making it faster and more cost-effective.
“It would not have been possible, as a result of prohibitively high costs,” explains Conor Russomanno, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenBCI. “We were able to meet a small demand to prove the product and generate further demand. Before 3Dprinting for manufacturing, injection molding was really your only option.. meaning you needed a high enough demand to have economies of scale play out in your favor. Now it’s much easier to test out niche products and create the demand in the process.”
The Mark IV head mount combined with the OpenBCI board measures electrical activity from the scalp. Based on that data users are able to derive brain activity. It is significantly more modular than its predecessors, with detachable wires and mounting holes for headset additions and modifications. Additionally, it has more nodes to target the scalp with a higher density of electrodes.