Stored museum exhibits

Thylascan has access to the most advanced CT scanner in the Southern Hemisphere. This facility enables high resolution X-ray data and control of signal inference from metal fasteners which are present in some museum exhibits. Setup and data control systems are imperative to achieve useful, clear information for modelling. For our development with insects, we work with specialised research institutes that offer X-ray micro-computed tomography scanning.

Raw X-ray scan data can realise basic 3D software models using applications available in the medical facilities. But our experience in this field has shown that these models are normally not suitable for anything other than basic visualisation. High quality models which are accurate and aesthetically balanced, require detailed and skilled development with high end computer systems and subsequent engineering development of specific products.

This is where Thylascan has established itself as a leading research entity in an emerging sector.

Selection for micro-scanning

CT scanning: skull

X-ray data: lion skull

Model development: wombat

Chimpanzee in development

Re-sectioning of Rhino beetle

Using a micro CT scanner, insects require multiple high resolution scans that are later joined and refined in software models. Large exhibits such as tigers can require dis-articulation with subsequent articulation provided in the software modelling environment. Computing requirements to manage the large volume of data from scanning, often require sectioning the model into more manageable data blocks.

Some museum exhibits are frozen or preserved in ethanol. This results in less than optimal positioning and they are unable to be aesthetically posed prior to scanning. In these instances, virtual joints can be assigned to the software model and then the exhibit can be re-positioned without losing integrity.

Chimpanzee sectioned

Thylascan software models retain a high level of detail of the original. This model then enables a range of product outcomes to be delivered including 3D printed models of varying scale. Unlike museum exhibits, larger Thylascan models are 3D joined without visible fasteners.

Other advantages of our models include retaining structural integrity of elements such as skulls. Some loss of surface detailing occurs, however, overall we can achieve a high resolution exhibit produced digitally that is aesthetically advanced. Models can be re-configured in different positions according to client needs.

1:1 & 0.4 scale 3D printed thylacines