WOODLAND PARK, Colorado – The experts from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center hit a jackpot when they learnt that the bones found by a team in Montana are those of a previously undiscovered species. They previously believed it to be an Avaceratops- A herbivores ceratopsian dinosaur which lived during the late Cretaceous Period. But when the bones were completely excavated they found that this animal did not have a horned nose which is very symbolic to the Avaceratops.This excited the team; the confirmation came with little help of 3D Printing and Scanning Technology that helped them figure out that the bones found were of a completely new kind of dinosaur.
They nick named it "Ava". Anthony Maltese The curator of the research team said "It doesn't have a horn on its nose and the shape of the head and body are different. The shape of the horns and the way they face also make it unique". The research team was able to excavate remarkable 85% bones of the new dinosaur which was a great achievement for the paleontologists working in the team. Once the Bones were excavated it was transferred to the Triebold Paleontology Laboratory at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, where they tried to recreate the animal using the mirror image technology.
To create the mirror image of the animal, every bone found was scanned using the 3D laser Scanner, the scans were then put together using 3D modelling software and the missing pieces of the bones were digitally recreated.The process was successfully completed by Triebold Paleontology without physically handling the delicate bones.
Anthony Maltese explained the process "It takes a mirror image and puts it in the computer and we can print it out and use it to make molds without any human error."
Thus generated 3D Model was then used to 3d Print the replica of ‘Ava’ which was unveiled in an exhibit on Wednesday, at the center in Woodland Park, Colorado. The team working on the project told the media that without the use of 3D scanning and 3D Printing technology it would have been impossible to say if it was a new species of dinosaur. They also added the finding a new species was like finding a needle in the haystack; it’s just the third or fourth new species they have ever found in the 24 years of their companies operation.
This was not the first time 3D printing was used to replicate dinosaur models; it was also used in 2012 to 3D print a miniature model of a dinosaur which was used to create robotic dinosaur models. In 2013, it was used by a German scientist for 3D scanning and printing. He successfully recreated a replica model of a dinosaur which was lodged inside a protective plaster without actually destroying the plaster.