Leiden, Netherlands will be the new home for a full-sized Tyrannosaurus rex in 2016, with the assistance of 3D printing technology.
The massive dinosaur display will be housed at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, a city mid-way between Amsterdam and The Hague.
The dinosaur is the actual remains of an adult female Tyrannosaur found in Montana, USA in 2013. The remains were in extraordinarily good condition, with “hardly any distortion to the bones”. This doesn’t mean the skeleton is complete, however. Some bones and portions of bones were missing: feet, left leg and arms.
This is where 3D printing comes in: these missing limbs can be recreated using 3D printing to complete the entire skeleton.
But a question comes up: where do you get the 3D scans to print? In the case of the missing leg, the researchers need only perform a detailed 3D scan on the surviving right leg, and then mirror-image it in CAD software to produce the left leg bones. This is the same technique used by some companies to reproduce fairings for prosthetic limbs.
For the missing feet and arms, none of which were apparently present in the dig site, the researchers can simply use 3D scans from other Tyrannosaur skeletons and resize them to match this individual.
The display should be quite exciting, as researchers have already discovered some interesting twists: bite marks are present on the skull, as well as several healed fractures.
3D printing once again fills in the gaps.
Via Naturalis (Hat tip to Franc)