3D printing project

3D copies of 3.2-million-year-old bones – almost ready for use in the classroom. (Photo by Stef Savannah)

3D copies of 3.2-million-year-old bones – almost ready for use in the classroom. (Photo by Stef Savannah)

With support from Macquarie University’s Innovation and Scholarship Program, and Research Director Stef Savannah, we have been engaged in a project to use 3D printing to support tutorials and labs in Anth 151, ‘Human evolution and diversity.’ Using a range of techniques, we have been able to create specialised workshops in which 3D printed replica bones are used by students in a CSI- or Bones-like lab in which they come to better understand how hominin remains are compared, analysed, and interpreted.

This project has been featured in a story on The Conversation, Please touch the artefacts: 3D technology is changing museums, by Helen Brown, and in a symposium for Museums and Galleries NSW, by Michael Rampe, one of the technical advisors for 3D projects at Macquarie University (who has also been helping us get high quality 3D scans of sample artefacts). Both of these stories discuss a wide range of the innovative teaching practices being used at Macquarie University using 3D technologies of various sorts, including both printing and virtual objects in fields like Ancient History and Egyptology.

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