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dadrummond

Trilobite 3D printing project

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

After printing my trilobite in clear resin, I tried black resin. Much better. Here's the print after being pried off the build platform and rinsed in isopropanol.

post-19906-0-58892700-1445747611_thumb.jpg

Yes, those are the legs, gills, and antennae on the left...

Here's the shell.

post-19906-0-75047400-1445747700_thumb.jpg

And here's the bug, freed from the support material (to the right), and assembled.

post-19906-0-54398200-1445747969_thumb.jpg

At this point, I have to say that I'm painfully aware of many problems with this reconstruction, and am bent on fixing them (as some senior folks on TFF who I've bothered may attest). The legs have the right number of segments, but they're far too crustacean. There are the proper number of thoracic legs, but too few cephalic and pygidial. The coxa are almost absent, rather than being a spiny central feature of the ventral bug. Please forgive -- this is trilobite 1.0! I'm working on it.

Here's a few views of the bug. It's quite fun to hold. If you can see it squirming, you're not alone.

post-19906-0-65363400-1445748310_thumb.png

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LordTrilobite    669
LordTrilobite

Looks great!

Are you going to paint it as well?

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Auspex    1,756
Auspex

Amazing. Seriously.

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

Looks great!

Are you going to paint it as well?

I have no skill for painting, and am going in a different direction right now. I do think it would be great. If someone out there points me to a page of their work and asks for a shell to paint, well, that might be a fun collaboration...

Amazing. Seriously.

Thank you. More to come.

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Triceratops    17
Triceratops

Nice work! I love hearing about the wonders of 3D printing, thanks for sharing!

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Deruos    10
Deruos

The black model is wonderful. Which printer did you use for the trilo ? Thank you for the address to Shapeways. In France 3D printing is still in the Paleozoïc !

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

The black model is wonderful. Which printer did you use for the trilo ? Thank you for the address to Shapeways. In France 3D printing is still in the Paleozoïc !

It's a Formlabs Form 1+. See earlier in the thread for descriptions, pictures of the instrument, links, etc. The only difference here is using black resin instead of clear resin.

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Deruos    10
Deruos

OK ! The result is excellent. Printer Form 2 is announced for November in France. Do you allow me to publish your pictures on my Facebook page to show what 3D printers can do ?

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

OK ! The result is excellent. Printer Form 2 is announced for November in France. Do you allow me to publish your pictures on my Facebook page to show what 3D printers can do ?

Yes, I'm drooling over the Form 2. As for sharing, absolutely, preferably with attribution and a link back here. :) Thanks for asking!

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Blastoid    14
Blastoid

Incredible combination of attention to scientific detail and artistic ability; you have the beginnings of an interesting business here.

Superbly detailed plastic reproductions of a wide variety of bizarre trilobites, priced low enough, would sell, I'd bet.

Great work, best I've seen from 3-D printing, I look forward to seeing more!

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comsuella2293    0
comsuella2293

I have Ceraurus pleurexanthemus 3d CGI model.

But it looks so baddie face.

post-17400-0-23238300-1446057335_thumb.png

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

Incredible combination of attention to scientific detail and artistic ability; you have the beginnings of an interesting business here.

Superbly detailed plastic reproductions of a wide variety of bizarre trilobites, priced low enough, would sell, I'd bet.

Great work, best I've seen from 3-D printing, I look forward to seeing more!

Thank you. That means a lot. The "wide variety" will take me some time. But hopefully improving the detail and accuracy on this Ceraurus will make up for that in the near term. And stay tuned for more than just plastic!

I have Ceraurus pleurexanthemus 3d CGI model.

But it looks so baddie face.

That is one bad bug. Clearly, parental involvement did not evolve for another few tens of millions of years.

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aplomado    52
aplomado

Cool! I bet you could sell these to forum members!

Keep us informed.

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JohnJ    1,516
JohnJ

Let's all remember to keep any sales or marketing suggestions in the Sales forum or PMs.

Thanks.

;)

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

Thanks for the enthusiasm -- and thanks, JohnJ, for the important reminder.

Here's the latest: I've done a bunch of prints in plastic, but there are 3D printers that will print directly in metal. Just as printers can do selective laser sintering of nylon powder, they can do it with stainless-steel powder mixed with a binder. The resulting fragile "green" print is baked to vaporize the binder and fuse the steel. Then the piece is put under vacuum, surrounded with bronze pellets, heated to 1400C (below melting temp of steel, above that of bronze), and infiltrated by the molten bronze, which wicks into the structure. Finally, the piece is cut free from supports used to guide infiltration, polished, and coated. Shapeways and other firms will take your digital designs and print them in metal for a very reasonable price.

So here's a series of direct-metal printed versions of the Ceraurus trilobite model, showing the evolution (so to speak) of the shell.

post-19906-0-78632300-1447532551_thumb.png

Getting better -- but as with most attempts at realism, the more you learn, the more flaws you see!

I've been working particularly hard on the soft tissues. This turned out to be a substantial research project. Although there's plenty of information about endopod (walking leg) structure in the Ceraurids, it hasn't been pulled together into a full reconstruction. So, for example, I immersed myself in Leif Stormer's 1939 and 1951 papers (hat-tip to an expert on this board for pushing me to look more closely at these), which contain his reconstruction:

post-19906-0-12887000-1447532756_thumb.png

(Stormer, Leif. 1951. “Studies on Trilobite Morphology, Part III: The Ventral Cephalic Sutures, with Remarks on the Zoological Position of the Trilobites.” NORSK GEOLOGISK TIDSSKRIFT 29: 105–58.)

I'm unaware of any more recent complete reconstruction in the literature. Stormer's drawing is helpful for rough proportions, numbers, and positioning, but not for actual shapes of the various parts. It lacks depth cues critical for understanding the morphology as reconstructed by Stormer himself, in other more high-fidelity plates in the same paper. Stormer's glass plates and wax models are far more informative. In short: the reconstruction is not a very good drawing, even of Stormer's own results, if you care about what the animal looked like, as opposed to merely where various bits sit in relation to each other.

But as noted, Stormer's work, and other's, contains much of the true-morphology data, if one stares hard enough and long enough. Here's the result, so far: my update of Stormer's 1951 figure 11, with a full 3D reconstruction. No exopods (gills) yet. And all this geometry is 3D printable, so I hope to have a solid version in hand before too long.

post-19906-0-05096100-1447531855_thumb.png

Edited by dadrummond

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digit    837
digit

Fascinating! And so much more fun than trying to reconstruct from DNA. ;)

I'm loving this topic.

Cheers.

-Ken

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Raggedy Man    407
Raggedy Man

I'm now debating on buying one now...The wife will not be amused lol. These are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

Best regards,

Paul

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aplomado    52
aplomado

Maybe this will be helpful:

PYT111E.jpg

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

Breathtaking. I've spent quite awhile staring at this and other Triarthrus specimens, and that information is integrated.

A nod must be made to the limitations of 3D printing at this scale -- the models I'm printing are at the large end of life size, about 5cm long, and at that scale, the legs approach the smallest feature that can be printed without breaking. Consequently, some of the lacy fragility is lost. In addition, Triarthrus and Ceraurus are widely diverged. But no specimens come closer to capturing the animal as it was than these pyritized beauties. Thanks for sharing.

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

I'm now debating on buying one now...The wife will not be amused lol. These are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

Best regards,

Paul

Thank you! Very kind.

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

Here's a 41-second video of me fiddling with the direct-metal-printed trilobite shell, to give you a sense of scale, detail, and so on.

This little guy arrived about a week and a half ago. I've done a lot of 3D printing, and it still amazes me.

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LordTrilobite    669
LordTrilobite

That looks fantastic!

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Auspex    1,756
Auspex

Utterly awesome!

This technology has my head spinning, and your 'virtual artistry' just blows me away.

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

That looks fantastic!

Utterly awesome!

This technology has my head spinning, and your 'virtual artistry' just blows me away.

Thanks, guys! Very motivating.

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dadrummond    18
dadrummond

While I'm waiting for prints to arrive, here's a slightly updated version of the Leif Stormer homage I posted earlier. I've made the antennae match his famous drawing (below). As ever, I must apologize for the artistic liberties taken with some parts of the bug; it's getting more accurate over time.

post-19906-0-55214700-1447794487_thumb.png

CeraurusReconstruction.jpg

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