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3-DIMENSIONAL REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES TO PRESERVE AND SPREAD PALEONTOLOGICAL MATERIAL – A CASE STUDY WITH A DIPLODOCID SAUROPOD NECK

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Abstract

The protection and preservation of irrecoverable, sensitive and fragile objects in museums, exhibitions and collections is critical in various research fields like cultural heritage, human sciences and paleontology. Lately, digitization of such endangered specimens proved to be a valuable tool to convert the objects into a digital form. However, in order to exploit all possibilities that such data could provide for educational and research purposes, it can be useful to transform the digital material back into a physical form. In this case study, a neck of a diplodocid sauropod dinosaur was digitally reproduced by 3D printing (a variant of rapid prototyping). The process is described in detail, and compared to the more classical reproduction using CNC-mills. CNC-milling is an inexpensive and accurate reproduction technology for large objects, and especially well-designed for producing durable casts. On the other hand, 3D printing is highly accurate to create small or complex objects, but is more expensive and yields more fragile physical objects. As accuracy of the complex shapes of the diplodocid cervical vertebrae was required in order to use them for research, 3D printing was preferred over CNC-milling in this case.

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Author and article information

Affiliations
[CICEGe, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal]
[Museu da Lourinhã, Rua João Luis de Moura, 2530-158 Lourinhã, Portugal]
[Institut für Biologie und Ihre Didaktik, Universität Flensburg, Germany]
Journal
16465806
JOURNAL OF PALEONTOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES
GEAL, Museu da Lourinha (Portugal)
1646-5806
2012
: 10
: 1-8
© 2012 Tschopp and Gordon

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

CC BY 3.0

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Research article

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