MEG chair


In 2.75 (Medical Device Design) in Fall 2019, I worked with a team of 5 engineers to design and build a device that could comfortabley allow patients to enter an MEG machine and sit for the duration of a scan.

We built a full-size prototype and shipped it to the client.

Key Skills
  • Basic woodworking and machining
  • Teamwork
  • Design process - idea generation to manufacturing


The problem was posed by Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI), which had built a magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine with self-contained magnetic shielding, an advance over current MEG machines. MEG is an emerging technique for investigating brain activity and has potential applications in diverse pathologies, including autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy. This MEG machine cannot easily be moved because it will need extensive re-calibration. The MEG machine is designed to fit the height of a standard room, which leaves little space for a person to maneuver themselves inside for a scan.

Our challenge was to create a system that allowed a patient to get into and out of the MEG machine and be comfortable inside the machine for the duration of the scan.

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MEG in the scanning position (patient would be inside MEG machine)
Design Objectives
  • Get patient into and out of MEG machine safely and reliably with little effort for the patient
  • Accomodate a range of patient sizes (both height and weight)
  • Contain no metal (which would interfere with the MEG)
  • Avoid altering the MEG machine


We built a full size (approximatly 8 ft tall) MEG machine replica to physically demonstrate our size constraints. We also modeled several potential concepts in CAD and small-scale rapid prototypes. Our final manufacturing techniques included CNC milling, manual milling, and hand tapping.

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Close up detail of one of the joints, entirely non-metallic


The final prototype was tested by our team members and instructor (see video). It was shipped to SHI, the original client, in early 2020.