Synapse is a multi-material 3D-printed wearable piece that moves and changes shape in response to the activities of the brain. The main intention of this project is to explore the possibilities of multi-material 3D printing in order to produce a shape-changing structure around the body as a second skin.

Additionally, the project seeks to explore direct control of the movement with neural commands from the brain so that we can effectively control the environment around us through our thoughts.

Model profile

The environment therefore becomes an extension of our bodies. This project aims to play with the intimacy of our bodies and the environment to the point that the distinction between them becomes blurred, as both have ‘become’ a single entity.

Neurosky's EEG chip
Neurosky’s EEG chip and Mindflex headset blend technology and design.

The helmet motion is controlled by the Eletroencephalography (EEG) of the brain. A Neurosky’s EEG chip and Mindflex headset have been modified and redesigned in order to create a seamless blend between technology and design.

EEG technology
EEG technology allows the recording and monitoring of the electrical activity of the brain, produced from the firing of neurons.

Neurosky’s EEG technology has the ability to assess cognitive load and measure various data such as Attention, Meditation, Delta, Theta, Low Alpha, High Alpha, Low Beta, High Beta, Low Gamma, and High Gamma values. The neural commands related to the “Attention” level are therefore translated into actual motions. This operates as a direct interface that allows users to interact with their immediate and non-immediate environments.

The 3D-printed helmet was produced using Object Connex 500 multi-material 3D printing technology at Pier 9, Autodesk, which is able to print a soft (black) and hard (white, in this case) in a single operation.The design of the helmet aims to provide a flexible/soft structure which enables maximum contraction and expansion.

Close-up of headset
  • Behnaz Farahi
  • Nicholas Cambier
  • Lissy Twaits
  • Michael Sturm
  • Sara Tagaloa
  • Selina Boon
    Special Thanks
  • Fallon Lebedowicz
  • Paolo Salvagione
  • Pedro Patricio
  • Alex Glowaski
  • Arthur Harsuvanakit
  • Evan Atherton
  • Samantha Chiu
Exhibition of Synapse at USC 2015