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Mosasaurus 3d model. Need help.

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Hi dear forumers. 

Need you help. May be some of you have a proper experience in printing 3d models of fossils. The great task appeared in my path. I trying to make a paleontology museum in my town. Our family have a more than 20 years of experience in paleohunting an we dream about showing to people what a beautyful and unique ancient creatures have been living here, near our home. And we want to show how interestin is our sciense: paleontology. We have a thousands of fossils of all systems from middle jurassic series, all of cretaceous systems to miocene series,  in 300km zone aroun our city. The pearl of our collection: fragment of lower mosasaurus jaw. But not everybody can imagine how great that sea monster was. And in my brain births an idea to print a full scale mosasaurus skull. 

So may be some of you have such experience and can help me with hints and solutions about this problem. May be you know a proper link. The links that i found in web aren`t free. I haven`t much money, and i scear about resolution of virtual model and quality of printing. 

Also may be some of you know where to dind a good resolution photo of masasaurus scull.

Thanks everybody for help.

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@LordTrilobite Might be able to help you out :) 

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I've been wanting to make a 3D model of a mosasaur skull for a while now. But I haven't gotten around to it. And it might still be a long time before that.

There's a bunch of models of mosasaurs out there. Some good, some really bad.

If you want to 3D print then this is a pretty nice model. It's not a direct scan of a skull, but an artist impression. But overall it looks quite accurate.



Or there's this one. A direct scan, so that's really good. But the scan is a little rough so I'm not sure how well it would print. It might need modification before it's printable.


If you just want an image. I've made these drawings using photos as reference. It kinda depends on which species you have. So they might not fit your fossil. The cool thing with these is that you can colour in the part of the skull you have to better show what type of fossil it is and where it's situated. These drawings are also simplified so that individual bones are more easily recognizable.


Halisaurus arambourgi


Prognathodon sp.



Prognathodon kianda


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Moved to Paleo-Recreations.   ;)

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Hello Highlander,

great idea, I did something similar for a penguin.



There are several things to keep in mind when printing 3d models of fossils:


Copyright: When you plan to use it in a museum, that is educational but also commercial use if you take fees.

So if the licence is "Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International" for example that means you should ask the maker of the model if he or she is ok with that. Attribution means you should write a  little sign that tells your visitors who created the model.


Printablity: some models look great on the screen but fall apart when you print them (or are not printable at all). Mosasaurus skulls are made up of loose parts by nature.

Falling apart will not be a big problem when you make it in 1:1 scale, you can easily assemble the parts then, maybe printing them separately.

When you have a model that you are not sure about I could help with checking the printability.


Size/printing cost:

3d printing is fast and relatively cheap for small items, but gets much more expensive with bigger models. That depends on material use, printing time and very much on who does the printing for you. The online service I use makes wonderful fine detail in 1:10 miniature skulls, but I could not afford to have a 1:1 skull printed there.

Maybe @Tony G.can tell you more about that.

Another option would be to make for example a 1:2 scale skull to display next to the fragmentary fossil, depending on you budget and printing possibilities.


Looking forward to see your solution,

Best regards,


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Tony G.

I use my own printer to print fossil skulls at my home.  Printing a full size skull is very time consuming.  I probably spent about a month printing, assembling and painting an oviraptor skull.

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