Paleontologists use 3D printing to .help complete new ND species exhibit

Paleontologists utilize 3D Printing exhibit in North Dakota

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Paleontologists have indeed started using 3D printing technology to aid in completing new species exhibits. 3D printing allows scientists to recreate fossilized remains accurately and detailedly, even when the original fossils are incomplete or damaged. According to paleontologist Jeff Person, 3D printing allows them to fill in missing parts of specimens that were either not preserved or broken, providing a cost-effective and faster alternative to traditional sculpting methods. Paleontologists begin by scanning the original fossils using high-resolution 3D scanners.

Using specialized software, paleontologists manipulate the scanned data to reconstruct the missing or damaged parts of the fossils digitally; Paleontologists create 3D models of the reconstructed fossils. This involves converting the digital data into a format suitable for 3D printing. The models are refined and adjusted to ensure accuracy and adherence to scientific knowledge. These printers use resin, plastic, and metal to build physical replicas of fossilized remains.

Once the 3D-printed fossil parts are ready, they can be assembled to recreate the extinct species’ complete skeletal structure or body.

Story by Bella Kraft • Friday.

Paleontologists use 3D printing to help complete new ND species exhibit.