What started out as an art project using the Australian think-tank the CSIRO’s additive titanium 3D printer has turned out to have much more serious application: scaled-up versions of microscopic bugs that make it easier to study their biology.
Originally, the minute insects from the Australian National Insect Collection were scanned, scaled up and printed for a national art exhibition. As CSIRO Science Art fellow Eleanor Gates-Stuart explained: “We combined science and art to engage the public and through the process we’ve discovered that 3D printing could be the way of the future for studying these creatures.”
The process is actually pretty straightforward: the bugs were scanned to produce the CAD files that the printer worked with.
A print run takes about 10 hours, producing a dozen bugs at a time — via redwolf.newsvine.com