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These 3D Printed Trilobites Are Absolutely Stunning – Gizmodo

by • January 8, 2016 • 14s Comments

These 3D Printed Trilobites Are Absolutely Stunning
Trilobites are everywhere: you’ve most likely seen them in museums, or if you’re lucky, in the rocks near where you live. While we’re utilized to seeing the fossils, one scientist has turned to 3D printing to get a sense of what these creatures were like in life.
Dr. Allan Drummond is a professor of biochemistry at the University of Chicago, and decided which he wanted to try his hand at printing up a trilobite.
These 3D Printed Trilobites Are Absolutely Stunning

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Reconstruction of C. pleurexanthemus of Harrington, 1959. [Source]
He chose the Ceraurus pleurexanthemus species, for the reason of the existing images which had been put togehter, but in addition for the reason there were a few examples of where soft tissue had been preserved. With which information to go on, he put together a 3D model using Blender:
These 3D Printed Trilobites Are Absolutely Stunning
Drummond has been documenting his system over on a discussion forum, in which he outlines how he’s been modeling each specimen:

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So I looked at as most ceraurids as I may find, and created 2D drawings, initial in pencil, and so in Inkscape, to provide guides for the 3D modeling. The initial goal was not to model a specific species, but to capture the organism in a recognizable way. The eyes are sizeabler and additional stalked in the drawings, and present model, than in Ceraurus, among a immense number of showcases which are simply just wrong. At the same time, any knowledgeable man can select the genus immediately. Over time, I’ve been pushing the model nearer and nearer to identifiable species, influenced in sizeable part by the folks on FF who can select species instantly of details of an isolated hypostome. No pressure!
With the model accomplished, he printed out a prototype in clear resin, and later, in Black Resin. From there, he went and printed them up in in stainless steel, bronze, and finally, silver: “3D printed in wax and cast in silver, with silver wire for the antennae.”
The resulting sculptures are perfectly
astonishing.
These 3D Printed Trilobites Are Absolutely Stunning
Not going to lie: I quite want one of these.
[Nerdist, The Fossil Forum]

Image credits: Allan Drummond


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