Fossils get from the ground to the museum floor with the help of increasingly precise tools, specialized glues and even 3D printing. But one thing hasn’t changed in 150 years of paleontology: Prepping fossils is painstaking work.
Recreating delicate fossils and fractured rocks with 3D printing could revolutionize geologic research and teaching, according to the technology’s early adopters.
Drexel University is starting to create 3D scans of fossils to better study the motion of giant dinosaurs through small-scale robotic models. Drexel University researchers create a 3D scan of the humerus bone from a Paralititan, one of the largest sauropod dinosaurs ever found. (Credit: Drexel University) Rather than using plaster and pickaxes, paleontologists are now digitizing ancient fossils.