CT Scanned Animal Skulls Now in Bronze, Silver and Gold

by Abdul Rehman on February 9, 2014

3D Printed Skull Metals

3D printing isn’t just changing the way we manufacture things; it’s changing the way we think. It isn’t just a technology anymore; it has become a culture. The fashion industry has realized its importance and today, it is common to see 3D printed futuristic Dresses, Novel Jewelry and Shoes of all shapes at fashion shows.

This is all thanks to people like Scott Camazine, who have bridged the gap between technology and fashion. Starting as a Kickstarter project a few months back, his eccentric idea of 3D Printing Animal Skulls is gaining widespread acceptance, leading him to launch his second project: Skulptures.

Scott Camazine – a Doctor with an Artistic Side

Scott CamazineIn our coverage of Scott’s First Project, we told you that he’s a biologist, a physician and an artist. He has been fascinated by nature since his childhood, when he used to collect the remains of dead plants and animals and cast them in wax to bring out their inherent beauty. He writes:

“For me, these pursuits were a perfect marriage of my curiosity about nature and my interest in the visual arts… I wanted to find a way to display their intricate beauty.”

As he grew up, he obtained an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School and also did Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from Cornell University. He has written two books on nature: “The Naturalist’s Year” and “Velvet Mites and Silken Webs” and has also co-authored a more technical book, “Self-Organization in Biological Systems”.

As a doctor doing CT scans every day, Scott thought of a way to combine all his interests into a single project. This was the “From Nature to Art” project which involved doing CT scans of skulls of animals belonging to several species and then, additive printing them to create beautiful sculptures. The project generated more than $5000 funding in November, more than double his initial funding goal ($2000).

Skulptures – Scott’s Latest Project

Skull in a Bell JarAfter the success of his first project, Scott Camazine has now moved on to his next project: “Skulptures”. It is a collection of incredibly detailed 3D printed miniature animal skulls which can be worn as ornaments or displayed in bell jars.

These miniature skulls are available in bronze, silver and gold and use the same CT scan data of animal skulls that Scott generated during his first project. Scott set $4000 as the funding goal for this project. Interestingly, the goal was reached in less than a week, showing just How Popular Scott’s Idea is Becoming.

The Process – 3D Printing Miniature Skulls

So, how does Scott capture all the details of a large skull into his miniature skulls? Actually, he combines CT scanning with 3D printing technology. CT scanning analyzes the animal skulls in great detail and additive printing accurately reproduces all these details in a miniature skull. The process is detailed below:

  • CT Scanning: The process begins by selecting an appropriate animal skull and doing CT scans of the whole skull at several levels giving thousands of images.
  • Creation of a 3D Model: The images that come out of a CT scanner are actually two dimensional X-Ray slices which can’t be used for 3D printing. Scott analyzes these images with a computer software and forms a highly detailed three dimensional model of the skull on the computer.
  • 3D Printing of the Model: Next, Scott prints the computer model first in acrylic plastic to check if the model has captured all the minute details as well as the inherent beauty of the skull and then, in brass.
  • Molding and Casting into Precious Metals: The brass 3D printed model serves as a master which is molded and cast to form bronze, silver and gold skulls.

The same process is repeated for each of the skulls in Scott’s collection.

The Collection – The Future of Fashion

Animal SkullsThe collection contains printed skulls of about 20 animal species which include:

  1. Roe Deer
  2. Green Sea Turtle
  3. Ram
  4. Dolphin
  5. Spider Monkey
  6. Crow
  7. Beaver
  8. Badger
  9. Alligator
  10. Llama
  11. Opossum
  12. Giraffe
  13. White-tailed Buck
  14. Elephant
  15. Pelican
  16. Animal SkullsChimpanzee
  17. Mongoose
  18. Dog

The skulls are available in gold, silver and bronze and will be sent to the backers of the project depending upon their contribution.

These rewards begin with a bronze crow skull for $25 contribution and go all the way to 14K gold skull for $550 contribution.

In addition to the skull, each contributor will also get a post card containing details about the animal.

Uses

In his kickstarter project description, Scott Camazine says:

“They can be worn as pendants and earrings, or exhibited as collectibles in tiny glass bell jar displays. They can also be studied to reveal features of animal’s behavior, feeding habits and skeletal structure.”

  • New Trend in Fashion: The major use for the miniature skulls which Scott has in his mind is to create a new trend in fashion. They can be worn as pendants, earrings and bracelets. The beautiful 3D printed skulls are not only unique and innovative, but are also a marvel to look at.
  • Bell Jar Displays: Each printed skull comes with a small hole at the bottom which makes them perfect to be mounted in bell jars at homes or in museums.
  • Objects of Study: As already mentioned, Scott’s miniature skulls capture even the minutest details of real skulls. So, they can be used as substitutes for real skulls to get information about the skeletal structure and behavior of the animals.

New Fashion for a New Era

3D printing is bringing a revolution in every field. Old traditions are being left behind and new ideas are coming forward. As the era is changing, why should fashion remain the same? Projects like Scott Camazine’s skulptures clearly show that 3D printing is the perfect technology to realize novel and eccentric ideas in fashion.

To support Scott Camazine’s project, Visit His Kickstarter Page or Like the Projects Facebook Page.

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