In the JISC GB3D fossils project lab we have just received a parcel containing some fossils...
Only these are not millions of years old, they are just a few days old! They are in fact some of the first 3D printed copies of the laser scans we have been producing.
3D printing is now commonly used in industry, and some people are calling this the “second Industrial Revolution”, where everyone is able design or download objects and print them in-house. Our fossils were printed using inkjet bound powder based technology, which means that the colour data that we captured during the scanning phase is also printed.
Visitors to the lab who have seen the models have been very impressed, and it is easy to imagine the scientific and educational potential that a large repository of models will create.