3D Printing in Science

3D Print Replica Bones From Lucy the Fossil

Lucy

The famous fossil, Lucy the Australopithecus, is now available for any amateur paleontologists to download and 3D print for free.

Although Lucy is long extinct, researchers have now released scans of her bones. These bones are the best-known representation of the 3-million-year-old female.

Paleontologists and hobbyists from all over the globe can use these high-resolution scans taken by the University of Texas, Austin back in 2008 to 3D print their own version of Lucy.

The fossil was touring around the country when the university had their chance to use a CT scanner on Lucy before she went back to the National Museum of Ethiopia.

Lucy

Why you Should 3D Print Replica of Lucy’s Bones

One of the interesting aspects of this fossil is the debate surrounding how Lucy died. Up until now, it has been hard for experts to examine the remains and weigh in on the debate with their opinion.

With the help of 3D printing, these scientists and researchers can examine the remains. Currently, UT researchers who have examined the bones and the 3D models have their own theory.

In a paper which was published in Nature, the researchers argue that the bone breakage patterns show that Lucy died from a fall from a tall tree.

The team wrote: “It is therefore ironic that the fossil that has been at the center of a vigorous debate about the role, if any, of arboreal locomotion in early human evolution can potentially be attributed to a fall out of a tree.”

However, due to the fact that Lucy is supposed to be one of the first ground-dwelling apes, many people are unconvinced by this conclusion.

Whether it’s good or bad that anyone who is interested can have an opinion on the fossil is up to you, but these replicas will certainly make an interesting addition to any classroom.

Tempted to 3D print your own replica? Let us know in the comments.

(Source: Tech Crunch)

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