Here at professional Image 3D, we love dinosaurs. These awesome giants roamed the earth millions of years before we did, and they have an innate ability to capture our imaginations and fuel dreams of what came before. And no dinosaur every captured a child’s imagination the way the Tyrannosaurs Rex has. Standing at an impressive 40 feet in length and nearly 7 metric tons, the king of all dinosaurs is a fearsome foe. But few people have actually seen one of these bad boys put together in real scale. Though more than 50 specimens have been identified, only two have ever been found with more than half of its pieces together. Luckily, both of those two were discovered nearly complete. The most recent of which, was unearthed just a few years ago by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center who are based in the Netherlands.
Unfortunately, some key pieces of the skeleton were missing, primarily, the left leg and arm bones. Therefore, in order to complete the assembly of the T. Rex’s colossal 13 meter long skeleton, they had to do what many other paleontologists have done in recent years, turn to 3D printing. Using 3D Scanning, the paleontologists have the ability to capture the exact data of the original bones. Once this is done, they can use 3D design software to mirror that data across, turning a right leg, into a left leg. Finally, the new ‘right’ leg is 3D printed, and the scientists now have an almost exact duplicate of the original piece. As the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton’s restoration nears its end, the Leiden Naturalis Biodiversity Center is preparing to publicly unveil it in September 2016 as part of its new dinosaur hall. Of course, if you are like us and can’t quite make the trip to the Netherlands, the museum intends to release the printable files, as well as a “how-to-print” guide to aide all of our maker friends around the world. You can check out the exhibit video below.