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Scanning Fossils

October 9, 2016
Jelly Fish exhibit
March 3, 2016

The project was born from a desire from the West Coast Fossil Park to give visitors a way to experience and visualise holotype fossils that are 3 to 5 million years old. Being holotypes, these fossils are extremely fragile and precious making the job very challenging for the team. We had to be permanently under the watchful eye of authorised personnel at the Iziko Museum.

Capturing the maximum amount of detail from tiny fossils all the way to real size ones, meant a great deal of planning.

The West Coast Fossil Park has a unique collection of original holotype fossils which means a single type specimen upon which the description and name of a new species is based.

Faced with such rich history, the team at Rabbit had to be extra careful when dealing with the subjects. From ancient sabre-toothed cats, to an african bear tooth or a super rare hammekop bone, they all came at different sizes.

In order to get the right amount of detail, we used a Hi-Definition laser scanner with a rotary table. Once scanned and processed, the duplicate fossils were 3D printed in nylon using Selective Laser Sintering, which ensured durability and high precision.