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Researchers Use CT and 3-D Printers to Recreate Dinosaur Fossils
Date:11/19/2013

1927 in a clay pit south of Halberstadt, Germany. In addition, the CT study provided valuable information about the condition and integrity of the fossil, showing multiple fractures and destruction of the front rim of the vertebral body.

Furthermore, the CT dataset helped the researchers build an accurate reconstruction of the fossil with selective laser sintering, a technology that uses a high-powered laser to fuse together materials to make a 3-D object.

Dr. Issever noted that the findings come at a time when advances in technology and cheaper availability of 3-D printers are making them more common as a tool for research. Digital models of the objects can be transferred rapidly among researchers, and endless numbers of exact copies may be produced and distributed, greatly advancing scientific exchange, Dr. Issever said. The technology also potentially enables a global interchange of unique fossils with museums, schools and other settings.

"The digital dataset and, ultimately, reproductions of the 3-D print may easily be shared, and other research facilities could thus gain valuable informational access to rare fossils, which otherwise would have been restricted," Dr. Issever said. "Just like Gutenberg's printing press opened the world of books to the public, digital datasets and 3-D prints of fossils may now be distributed more broadly, while protecting the original intact fossil."

"Reviving the Dinosaur: Virtual Reconstruction and Three-dimensional Printing of a Dinosaur Vertebra." Collaborating with Dr. Issever were Rene Schilling, M.D., Benjamin Jastram, Dipl.-lng., Oliver Wings, Dr. rer. nat., and Daniela Schwarz, Dr. rer. nat.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and own
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SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
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