Texas fossil museum preserves pre-dinosaur mammal skeleton with 3D scanning

A pre-dinosaur mammal skeleton has been digitally preserved at the Texas Through Time museum in Hillsboro using NVision's 3D scanning technology. 

Texas fossil museum preserves pre-dinosaur mammal skeleton with 3D scanning
Texas fossil museum preserves pre-dinosaur mammal skeleton with 3D scanning

Texas fossil museum preserves pre-dinosaur mammal skeleton with 3D scanning

The Dimetrodon, an apex predator that roamed the earth over 250 million years ago, long before dinosaurs ever did, has been digitally preserved at the Texas Through Time museum in Hillsboro, Texas thanks to 3D scanning technology from NVision

A Texas-based developer of 3D scanners, NVision scanned the fossilized skeleton of the Dimetrodon limbatus for the paleontology museum, which has been described as “crucial in understanding Texas ancient history and past life” by Texas Through Time founder Andre LuJan.

Using the scan data, Texas Through Time plans to 3D print exact replicas of the Paleozoic Era fossil, discovered in Texas, for further study and education. LuJan adds, we anticipate many more benefits through using the data for scientific study as well as making affordable replicas available for display and education.

The non-profit Texas Through Time museum was founded by paleontologist Andre LuJan. It was established to help preserve and promote the rich fossil history attributed to Texas. The museum features a wide selection of fossils from all ages and formations, including various rare collections of reptiles, amphibians, sharks, ammonites, dinosaurs, mammals, and petrified wood. Members of the public are able to access the museum’s collection of fossils for free. 

LuJan has employed 3D scanning and 3D printing before for exhibits at the Texas Through Time museum. With this experience, the paleontologist insisted that the Dimetrodon  fossil, discovered in the Redbeds of Texas in the early 1980s, was also preserved through the same process.

“I felt it was absolutely necessary to have these fossils 3D scanned as it is less damaging than traditional molding and casting,” he said. The skeleton’s vast age and paleontological value meant that it was necessary to copy it for further study and display without damaging it. Scanning also avoids the use of casting materials that may permanently stain fossils.