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Touch a 3D Printed Dinosaur Skull During the UK “Dippy” Tour

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The Natural History Museum’s well known and much loved dinosaur skeleton, nicknamed Dippy, is going on tour in the UK. Visitors can now get hands-on with the dinosaur thanks to 3D printed replica skulls.

London’s Natural History Museum is the permanent home of the Diplodocus dinosaur, nicknamed Dippy. However, the popular dinosaur is now going on tour throughout the UK. As a result, a further five million people will have the chance to view the bones.

But not only will visitors get the chance to view the complete dinosaur, they’ll also be able to get up close to Dippy’s skull. Belfast’s 3D printing specialist Laser Prototypes Europe (LPE) was deployed to create eight exact replica skulls.

In order to do this, Dippy was laser-scanned from head to tail last year. This process captured the dinosaur’s exact size and shape including the smallest of details. LPE was then able to use the data to 3D print the replicas.

“Our process was perfect for recreating the complex free-form shape of Dippy’s skull, giving an exact copy of the scanned data,” explains Campbell Evans, sales director at LPE.

“The project was a really interesting one for LPE, as much of our work is for electronic housings, covers, connectors and everyday engineering components. It’s not every day we see a dinosaur coming through the doors, let alone eight of them.”


Dippy Visiting Seven Locations on the UK Dino-Tour

LPE 3D printed the replica skulls in a single piece from the scan data using lightweight, durable resin. As a result, each of the replicas weighs around three kilograms. By using 3D printing, it’s possible to avoid the traditional mold and cast process.

3D printing is viewed as a safe way to create models. As a result, visitors will be able to touch the replicas and get up close to Dippy during the tour.

Of the final eight skulls, two will be going on tour with the dinosaur. Meanwhile, five will be go to the Real World Science partner institutions for education and one will remain in London for research and study.

The tour began at the Dorset County Museum on the Jurassic Coast and will travel to seven venues, finishing up in Norwich, UK in 2020. Find out more about the tour by visiting the Natural History Museum website.

Source: The Irish News

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