Digital Dinosaurs: Rapid Prototyping & 3D Printing


Rapid Prototyping with 3D printing, Molding & Casting.

Cretaceous fish skull restored with 3D printing

Digital Dinosaurs can resize, mirror or digitally alter three-dimensional objects and 3D print them on our own in-house machines, so we are not reliant on any third party for most productions. This ensures that our rapid prototyping workflow is truly rapid. We typically use PLA filament (Polylactic Acid, a biodegradable polymer made from corn or maize) in our printers, but can work with other filaments as well. If you need a specific color or type of thermoplastic, we can discuss special-ordered materials and how they may affect the time and cost of production.

Prints can be hand-painted or molded for reproduction in other materials. We have been molding and casting objects of various sizes and degrees of fragility for decades, from enormous dinosaur skeletons to tiny fish and bird bones. For metal reproductions, such as bronzes, we work closely with Art Castings of Colorado. Our own casting processes use silicone molds, into which we brush and pour plastic and expanding foam resins. Casts are reinforced internally with steel when creating large objects requiring the support of an armature. If you want prototypes in a material other than the thermoplastics used by the 3D printers, including bronze, we can find a molding and casting solution for you.

Time-lapse video showing one of our 3D printers making a pliosaur braincase.

Contact us for more information on how we can help with your project, or to request a free quote. Our 3D printing pricing is based on the amount of material, rounded to the nearest gram, that will be used printing the model, currently at the rate of $0.50/gram. This mass value is calculated by the program creating the toolpath our printer will follow. Molding and casting service pricing is estimated on a per-job basis as costs can fluctuate dramatically with degree of difficulty and the amount and types of materials to be used.

Daspletosaurus torosus restored using 3D printing
Cimolicthys, fossil fish restored with 3D printing
New species of ceratopsian skull restored using 3D printing
Enchodus, fossil fish restored with 3D printing