Improved Anthropological Research through Digital Documentation and 3D Printing

Research

Expanding on the techniques developed in within the Veterinary Medicine exploration, current research is being developed to explore the potential for high resolution printing and CT scanning to preserve artifacts within archaeology and anthropology that will ultimately decay into dusk over time. The applied research aims to enable a knowledge based for production of artifacts through various digital fabrication processes, providing knowledge about the margin of error associated with the tolerances of the machine versus the physical artifact. The results of this research preserve the geometry and morphometry of the teeth for study (both digitally and physically) while also enabling their replication and expanded dissemination through digital file sharing and through reprinting.

In the process of generating the surface mesh for 3D printing, which requires a tissue density selection from the CT scan, the team realized that information on bone density, something that previously would not have been able to analyze by simple surface scanning, could be extracted. As a result this enables the archaeological and anthropological research to be enhanced and expanded into new fields of exploration.