A scientist has recently demonstrated the feasibility of recreating ancient creatures using a combination of 3D modelling and 3D printing.
New, powerful engineering software is often used as a way of prototyping new building designs along with the layouts of things such as car engines and other mechanical components.
Dr Allan Drummond from the University of Chicago, however, recently decided to use the software and 3D printing to recreate a species long since extinct - the trilobite - as part of a desire to actually hold one of the creatures and feel the spines and features.
Trilobites were ancient creatures that lived in the world's oceans for around 270 million years, and the genus Dr Drummond chose to recreate existed around 470 million years ago. Given this nearly unfathomable length of time, it's understandable that coming across fossils is quite a difficult undertaking.
By recreating a trilobite in 3D using reference pictures and other data, Dr Drummond may be able to better understand how the creature moved and even reacted to its environment.
Recreating a trilobite
With only fossils and reference pictures as a guide, the process to create a trilobite in 3D and then print the model took some time. To start off, Dr Drummond had to draw the creature by hand using pencil, and he later used a computer application to create the guides necessary for the 3D model. With the model ready to go, he was then able to use a form printer to assemble the model.
After cutting and polishing the base parts, he assembled them in plastic before moving onto steel and eventually silver. The project certainly showcases what's possible using these powerful new technologies.
Redstack provides a number of technologies, from 3D printers and UAVs (drones) to 3D scanners and Autodesk software. To learn more about our range, don't hesitate to contact our team today to discuss how Redstack can assist with your next 3D project.