Intriguing Design Spotlight: Lifesize Triceratops Skull


Massive Triceratops skull 3D print [Source: Prusa Research]

This week’s selection is the massive Triceratops Skull by Prusa Research.

There could be only one choice for this week, and it’s the massive dinosaur print undertaken by Prusa Research and Dinosauria Museum Prague.

It turns out that the museum, located near the Prague airport, was the trigger for this operation. Prusa Research staff were asked by the museum if a dinosaur skull could be 3D printed. Prusa Research’s response:

“You bet jur-ass-i-can.”

The result was a busy project to produce a massive, full size replica of a Triceratops skull. The skull was found in Montana, and is 66 million years old. That would put its lifetime very close to the meteor event that took out the dinosaurs, making this skull even more memorable.

Link to Triceratops model

Capturing the massive Triceratops skull scan [Source: Prusa Research]

A team from Prusa Research was able to capture a detailed 3D scan of the skull by means of photogrammetry. They used a standard DSLR camera to capture 250 excellent photos, and fed those into Reality Capture for processing with a hefty graphics card. The result was an incredible 3D model with 5.2M facets.

The enormous model could not be printed in one piece, so in order to fit it on the company’s XL devices they used PrusaSlicer’s new cutting features to chop it into 34 still-large pieces suitable for printing.

The 34 pieces were then printed in black PETG Prusament material, ready for assembly. Two liters of superglue were used to fix the parts together, followed by multiple applications of sealant for outdoor environmental protection. Finally, the outer surface was painted in a way to simulate the visual appearance of prehistoric bones.

The resulting model weighed a whopping 66kg, and requires four people to move it. The print was mounted on a stand and placed outdoors at the Dinosauria Museum Prague where visitors can see what appears to be a real dinosaur skull up close.

The Prague Dinosauria Museum has made the 3D model available on Printables for anyone to download and print. However, be informed that it is an enormous 3D model with 25MB size. It might cause difficulties with your slicer software!

I plan to give it a shot and print this model by myself, although not exactly in life-size proportions.

Via Prusa Research and


Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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