3D printing bones of a Triceratops

Naturalis is the national research institute for biodiversity and is located in Leiden, the Netherlands.

A couple of years ago Naturalis found the skeleton of a T-rex in Montana, USA which will be on display in the museum amongst other dinosaurs skeleton. Unfortunately not all bones were complete, but that is where modern technology comes in.

Over the last couple of years Naturalis has been using 3D printers, but all these printers have one small issue: print volume. When printing the dinosaur bones, last thing you want is cutting the STL in 10 or more pieces and glueing them together. Builder 3D Printers is only 20 minutes drive from Naturalis and we decided to help them out with 3D printing the large bones.

The bones that were missing are scanned from other dinosaur skeletons around the world and are prepared for printing by the team of Naturalis. One of the bones which was printed on the Builder Extreme 1500 was the bone of a Triceratops. The part shown on the pictures is a part of the lower back/tail spine.

The bone was printed with a 0.4 mm nozzle and a layer height of 0.2 mm for absolute superb print quality. It was printed with support material to facilitate printing the complex bone structure. The print of this large bone took 145 hours. Many more bones are being 3D printed on the Builder Extreme and soon we will print one of the largest bones of the collection on Naturalis. Stay tuned.


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