In the past few years, Materialise, a Belgian manufacturing company, has launched 3d printing products such as running shoes, dresses and wheelchairs. Now, the company has created something a little larger – a complete wooly mammoth skeleton.
Working with Dr. Mietje Germonpré, who is a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, a team from the company Materialise scanned 320 original bone fossils in 3d.Digital files from each scan are used to print bone replicas, which consist of layers of resin 0.1mm thick.
When all the bones are printed out, several layers of paint and varnish are added to the transparent resin.In addition, in order to hold the skeleton together without the need for an external scaffold, a modular carbon fiber structure was created to support it from the inside - the structure could not be seen from the outside.
The finished product measures 3.5 meters tall by 5 meters long (11.5 by 16.4 ft), weighs 300 kg (661 lb), and was recently unveiled in the Lier City Museum.