Alligator skull

Discussion in 'My Shapeways Order Arrived' started by Camazine, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
    I am delighted with my latest 3D print of a caiman alligator skull. This is a model of a Yacare caiman alligator skull created from a CT scan of an actual skull measuring 35 cm (14 inches) in length. The skull is 5.6 cm long and 3 cm wide (2.25 inches by 1.2 inches). The Yacare caiman is a species of caiman found in central South America.

    I have waited decades to be able to create something like this. Years ago, I was able to cast a few natural objects such as a pine cone or an insect body in silver using the lost wax technique, but this combination of CT scan and 3D printing technology opens up a whole new world of creating replicas of nature's beautiful and intricate creations.

    Thank you Shapeways!

    674x501_734217_636438_1352227385.jpg

    Caiman skull and model.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Wow, I love it! Add a loop to make it a pendant and I'd want to buy it. Maybe even put it on my Christmas wish list.
     
  3. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
    Thanks for the compliment! But the beauty is in the natural object itself. Just look at all the incredible sculptural detail on the actual skull. Unfortunately a lot of that detail is lost in the 3D print. (I may have smoothed the CT scan data. I will have to look it over again and perhaps upload another version.)

    As for your suggestion of adding a loop, check out the attached pictures! The natural openings in the skull provide a perfect way to string a lanyard for making a necklace. I just threaded the string through the openings in the skull and tied a simple adjustable knot. I did not want to add a loop to mar the beauty of the skull. (But if you really wanted a version with a loop I could do it!)

    pendant threaded.jpg
    pendant threaded2.jpg
    skull and pendant.jpg
     
  4. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    I actually like the look of it in the eye sockets like that. Share with us the link to buy it, if it's for sale. Unfortunately I'm unable to buy it right now, but for others that are interested.
     
  5. natalia
    natalia New Member
    WOW!

    I love hearing things like this - that with 3D printing you can do something you were never able to do before.

    Congratulations on a fantastic model!
     
  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Natalia, did I mention that my birthday is the 26th ;)
     
  7. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
  8. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
    Hi Natalia:
    Yes, I think this 3D printing technology is incredible. I am a biologist by profession, and have been fascinated by Nature's incredible patterns and designs ever since I was a kid. Over the years, I have been able to "capture" some of this beauty in bronze lost wax castings, of things such as the fetal pig and white-breasted nuthatch. But my opportunities for bronze castings are very limited, unless I decide to spend $100s of dollars on a project. CT scanning and 3D printing is one way of creating sculptures of natural objects. I suspect that in the not-to-distant future, 3D scanning will be an affordable way for me to build up a collection of 3D prints in steel or silver. For me, there is something very satisfying about having a bronzed sculpture of a beautiful natural object.

    nuthatch and piglet.jpg
     
  9. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Instead of 3D scanning or CT scanning, have you looked into 123D catch? It's a free software that uses images to create a 3D model. They also have an iOS app, unfortunately no Droid app yet. For higher detail you could also use our silver. Yes more expensive, but higher detail. If you'd like other cast metals, be sure to let us know!
     
  10. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
    Hello Youknowwho4eva:

    Just wanted to thank you for pointing out 123D Catch as an alternative to other ways of obtaining a printable model from natural objects. I used the online version of 123D Catch to create a model from a monkey skull that I have scanned using CT. It worked out fairly well, although plenty of detail was lost. Attached are some photos to let you compare the various technologies. There is a photo of the actual skull, a rendering of the CT scan, a cleaned version of the CT scan that took many, many hours to fix, and finally two renderings of the 123D Catch obj file.
    monkey54.jpg
    monkeyBeforeAfter.jpg
    monkey 123D catch.jpg


     
  11. Brick
    Brick New Member
    looks like you talk about posting 4 images, but there are only 3 attachments, only 2 of which work.

    I would like to see the CT render
     
  12. Dotsan
    Dotsan Well-Known Member
    Great work, thanks for sharing.
    V
     
  13. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
    Hello Brick:

    There are only the three attachments in my previous message because I combined the different views into single images. The first (whitish) image is the actual monkey skull. The second image (red) shows the rendering of the CT scan data next to the repaired CT scan. The third image (yellowish) shows a rendering of the 123D Catch model that I made from 67 overlapping photos of the actual skull.

    Sorry for the confusion. Hope that helps.

    Scott
     
  14. bvr
    bvr New Member
    Camazine,
    Very nice work! A few questions, how/where are you getting ct scans done and how or what software are you using to convert the scans?
    bvr
     
  15. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
    Hello bvr:

    I am an emergency room doctor in my other life, so I have friends that will occasionally shoot a CT scan for me. I would be happy to share the CT scan data with anyone who would like to play with it. CT scans are stored in a file format called DICOM. You can open DICOM files with various programs. I use a free software package called OSIRIX. You can get it here:

    www.osirix-viewer.com/

    Within the program you can export an .OBJ file of the data you are manipulating. I took a CT scan of my entire body, so if I wanted to I could make a silver 3D Shapeways print of my heart, kidney or skull! Wow, wouldn't that be fun. LOL.

    The problem with the CT scan data that I have for the monkey and black bear is that it is not high resolution. A friend has spent many, many hours using z-brush software techniques to clean up the models. If anyone out there listening knows how to do such things, and would like to work on any of these models, I would be happy to collaborate by providing you with the CT scans in return for having you share your results with me and others who are interested. The caiman alligator skull that I printed at Shapeways did not need any repairing since the bones were so dense that the CT file worked fine.

    http://www.shapeways.com/model/734217/76ede8b6564d29bdd80dfc

    Scott

     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  16. Brick
    Brick New Member
    the CT picture(s) are still a broken link for me.
     
  17. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
    Hi Brick:

    Not sure what is going on with your problem downloading the 3 images. As you can see from the attached screenshot, lots of people have been downloading the pictures. And you can also see them in the message without downloading them. The CT scan render of the monkey is the file called "MonkeyBeforeAfter.jpg" Scroll up to message labelled "Follow up - 123D Catch Fri, 09 November 2012 16:54 UTC" and you should be able to download the 3 jpeg files.

    Screen Shot 2012-11-10 at 5.38.39 PM.png


     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  18. Brick
    Brick New Member
    the middle picture is still a broken link for me, within the message, and when I click.

    BTW, even thougth I get a broken link when I click the link, it still counts as a 'download'. I'd like to hear if others can see that image.
     
  19. Camazine
    Camazine New Member
    I'm not sure what the issue is on your computer. I can see all three images, and when I control-click on each one, I am able to save the image to my desktop.
     
  20. Brick
    Brick New Member
    i give up, lol. I've tried on 2 different computers, logged in and logged out, and both have broken links for the CT picture. Oh well...