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Naturalis Biodiversity Center: T. Rex to be Resurrected in Full Glory via Ultimaker 3D Printer

by • April 1, 2016 • No Comments

UntitledWe all understand what a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur looks like: a big guy with bad posture, sharp fangy teeth, creepy little arms, thundering thighs. Your vision of him many most likely entails the nightmarish beast crashing through lush forest foliage building a dramatic entrance in a clearing, snarling and hangry as he looks for a thing to snatch up and devour mercilessly. We all have a excellent overview by now, and many scientists can say that yes, we are pretty spot on there. But archaeologists of course want to dig deeper. They want to understand of each bone in the T. rex body, and many especially the ones that have eluded them.

Our interest in T. rex in the present day has a direct connection to the find in Montana in 2013, via the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, a effortless history museum and research center in the Netherlands. Whilst a number of T. rex skeletons have been unearthed otherwise, only several now have been discovered with additional than half of their skeletons intact. It was well-understandn that the Netherlands wanted a T. rex in their collection, and by golly, they only about uncovered an entire specimen over time.

“…we’ve discovered a skeleton in excellent condition that is not going to remain in North America,” says Anne Schulp, paleontologist at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center. “It’s coming to the Netherlands.”

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T. rex bone in Montana

Schulp explains that obviously when an 11,000 pound beast dies and goes down, scavengers are on point immediately, thus explaining logically why we lose so much of the skeleton. Bones are strewn of, and a few are never discovered at all. In this case, the Montana T. rex was missing the left leg, along with the skeletal feet and the arm bones. Whilst traditionally, there were of course additional painsbringing ways to return it into one, in the present day 3D printing expediently reproduces what the paleontologist needs to conclude the skeleton.

“These are massive bones we are talking of,” says Schulp, explaining that they may yes, manufacture a mirrored adaptation by hand or turn it into a cast.

But if there is another Tyrannosaurus skeleton around with a much like dimensions limb, why not use the innovation on the market to only 3D scan another another T. rex fossil part, print one out, and add a perfectly shaped bone to the collection. Schulp is incredibly proficient at this system, obviously, but the truth is there is not much to it. Using an Ultimanufacturer, the paleontologist is obviously thrilled with the ease involved, that as he says, involves creating a scan of another much like bone, clicking on the mouse to turn it into a mirror, and and so clicking the mouse to ‘hit print.’ Not only that, but a byproduct of adding a few artificial bones is that they end up strengand soing the skeleton in the system.3D_printed_bone

“For a museum it’s almany an advantage when you are missing bones for the reason in a 3D print you can easily add a hole in the middle and run steel through the within of the print,” said Schulp. “So what we frequently do if we have one leg but not the other is that we take the steel frame that assists the entire dinosaur and hide it within the lightweight 3D printed replica bones to assist the rest of the entire skeleton.”

Before the advent of the 3D printing device, this system was undeniably additional time consuming, and alyet there are several methods for recreating missing bones, they frequently in addition molded missing parts out of Styrofoam. This was not effortless, or efficient by any means, and especially in watching how rapidly the Ultimanufacturer concludes the job.

“We are quite excited that Naturalis Biodiversity Center is via an Ultimanufacturer for this project,” says Siert Wijnia, CTO and discovereder of Ultimanufacturer. “Ultimanufacturer 3D printing devices contribute an effortless and accurate way to turn it into seamless replicas of the bones, helping to visualize the missing bones of the T. rex.”

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Scanning bones

What’s a bit odd and should prove to be wonderfully enlightening too, is that pretty than melding in the 3D printed bones so that you’d never understand anything had been missing, the museum is highlighting the bones that were created on the Ultimanufacturer so that museum goers are aware not only of the technological system, but in addition so they learn additional of the history of this particular find and what had to be filled in. The 3D printed bones can be painted a slightly various color so that you can see the difference.

T_rex_NaturalisAll of the current scanning and 3D printing of missing bones is bringing place preceding the T. rex actually arrives. Once the skeleton is conclude and in place, the museum can be able-bodied to share the full story of the specimen in the museum’s dinosaur exhibition which include the T. rex’s age, geological setting, and paleopathology. The exhibit is set for September. Not only that, once the skeleton has taken center stage at Naturalis, Ultimanufacturer can host a how-to-print instruction for a few of the bones and share the actual .stl files utilized by the museum so 3D printing enthusiasts can print the precise T. rex replica bones themselves.

In a few years the museum can in addition be opening a new wing with a massive dinosaur hall. They are looking for a few additional dinosaurs to add to store their herbivores and the T. rex company, and at that point it’s quite most likely the Ultimanufacturer can be occupied again ‘fleshing’ things out for a new skeleton.

And I don’t understand of you, but all this considering of T. rex has given me a hankering not only for a walk through a effortless history museum, but in addition for a bowl of buttery popcorn and night of Jurassic Park movies. For now yet, we can all get a fix by checking out the video at a lower place, and learning additional of Ultimanufacturer and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center’s next T. rex exhibit. What are your yetts on the role 3D printing is playing for the paleontologist in the present day? Discuss in the 3D Printed T. rex Bones forum over at 3DPB.com.