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Sunday, May 7 • 10:30am - 11:00am
Small-Scale Secrets of Nature Revealed Through 3D Printing LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

A natural history museum exhibition currently in production focuses on functional morphology as it operates on a micro scale. Historically, tiny biological specimens have been underutilized in museum settings, primarily due to the difficulty of displaying them. Optical magnification equipment is costly and prone to damage. One visitor examining a specimen can obscure viewing by others in the gallery. Visitors often have a bias favoring three-dimensional objects over two-dimensional images which limits the appeal of microphotographs.

Combining micro-CT scanning with 3D printing has solved these problems and enabled this domain to be explored like never before. (Several 3D printed macro models from the exhibit will be available for examination during this presentation.)

To test responses to features produced with this technique and to evaluate exhibit content, outreach to various groups including elementary, middle school and high school students, science teacher associations, and museum professionals has been undertaken over the past two years. These interactions suggest that this technique is a very effective tool for creating visually engaging and tactile models of otherwise inaccessible anatomical and morphological features that have utility in both formal and informal educational settings.

avatar for Michael Holland

Michael Holland

Presenter, Michael Holland Productions
Michael has worked in and for natural history museums for over two decades, mainly creating dinosaur paleontology exhibit features (currently at the Smithsonian Institution). Being essentially a kind of science illustrator, 3D printing quickly caught his interest as another means... Read More →

Sunday May 7, 2017 10:30am - 11:00am EDT
Meeting Room A