The engineer that 3D printed his own brain

3D printing of entire buildings

Steven Keating’s remarkable career saw him tackle mechanical engineering, materials science, film making, robotics, medical sciences and 3D printing.  His pioneering work focused on additive manufacturing technologies which range from cellular biology to 3D printing of entire buildings. 

Steven Keating’s Curious Mind

Steven Keating graduated with degrees in mechanical engineering, materials science and film making in his home country of Canada .  That would have been sufficient to launch a successful career for most people.  But not for Steven. He enrolled at MIT in 2010 to pursue a PhD degree in mechanical engineering. He continued his search for new devices and technologies by pushing the limits of engineering, media technologies, biology, robotics and 3D printing. 

3D printing of entire buildings

Steven was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014. Instead of losing hope, Steven underwent grueling 10 hour surgery and continued his studies. In his PhD degree presentation in 2016, Steven showed 3D printed models of his tumor as well as 3D printed slices of his brain to the panelists at MIT. He was humorous and presented his findings with a sense of wonder and excitement.  He passionately discussed his fascination with various devices and additive manufacturing technologies which ranged from cellular biology to 3D printing of entire buildings. 

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The future of building design and construction

One of the most exciting discoveries he discussed during his PhD presentation was about the ability to construct entire buildings using 3D printing.  His robotic device to construct buildings using 3D printing was purchased by NASA for use in future missions to the Moon and elsewhere.  This remarkable young man eventually succumbed to his brain cancer at the age of 31 in 2019.  RIP and thank you for lighting the way for the rest of us.

Title Image:  Keating, Steven. (2014). MRI cranial slices of astrocytoma patient in 2007 and 2014. Zenodo. doi:10.5281/zenodo.16852  Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

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