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Doctor Mud

3D Printing Fossil Whales From Chile

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Doctor Mud

Sorry if someone has already posted this but I thought this was just too cool to pass up.

Researchers from the Smithsonain have used lasers to scan whale skeletons in situ and then used 3D printing technology to recreate the site in the palm of your hand!

Wow!

Check it out at:

http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3DPrintingArticles/ArticleID/5372/The-Smithsonians-3D-Printed-Fossil-Whales.aspx

Scroll down the page for the video...

Edited by Doctor Mud

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Batty

Ah modern technology, isn't it wonderful.

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Phossiker

And then going the other way is really cool too.

Scanning bugs in amber then printing them out super sized so that you can handle them.

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2929744.htm

Because they are scans of the whole insect the internal organs must be there too. That blows me.

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Doctor Mud

Awesome stuff Phossiker. I had never thought if going the other way.

I'm quite excited about what you have just shared.

I do a lot of work with tiny fossil insects from lake sediments.

Scanning them and 3D printing would be great for research and teaching,

Being able to hold these tiny things in your hands and rotate them around to look at all the tiny details.

Yep - modern technology is amazing.

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Auspex

How 'bout a 3-D osteological database; print out a bone for comparative purposes on demand!

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Phossiker

You can have you context and eat it too.

Imagine you find a skull in fragments but want to keep it in the matrix. How do you get to see what it originally looked like?

With a high res scan you can acquire all the pieces assemble them in a 3D programme then printout your result.

Osteological database - great. The ability to scale your find to fit the holotype should do something for cladistics.

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Missourian

3D printing.... Don't give the Moroccan artisans any ideas. :)

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Doctor Mud

How 'bout a 3-D osteological database; print out a bone for comparative purposes on demand!

The applications go on and on. That would be extremely useful. Not just to have to look at pictures of different angles of the fossil but to actually have a print out of the holotype in your hands.

Great Idea Auspex. Someone should definitely do it.

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Scylla

How 'bout a 3-D osteological database; print out a bone for comparative purposes on demand!

The applications go on and on. That would be extremely useful. Not just to have to look at pictures of different angles of the fossil but to actually have a print out of the holotype in your hands.

Great Idea Auspex. Someone should definitely do it.

Somebody already is doing it, here is one of the databases but there are more:

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/collections/jiscGB3DTypeFossils.html

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Scylla

BTW the paleontologists at my local University now routinely CT all the jacketed material to see what they have. Then they can computer model the fossils and 3-d print what they need to study. No more surprises opening a plaster jacket that has been sitting in archives for a century. There are even meetings that revolve around this issue.

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Doctor Mud

Thanks Scylla.

You've certainly got your finger on the pulse of technology in paleo.

I remember seeing some sort of system a while back that could penetrate rock as well.

There was a dinosaur fossil that had a skin impression and remarkable preservation of the skeleton.. I think they took the block of rock to NASA who had some type of system they use to look for fatigue in machine parts.

They could learn a lot about how the Dino moved because bones were in their life position.

Useful for prep if you could "see" into rock. But maybe take some of the fun out of it :-)

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Shamalama

Oh too cool. I like Auspex's idea too!

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