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3D Printing Certification

Aurélien Mounier, a paleoanthropologist using 3D printing


Lucie Gaget on Jul 3, 2019 |

We talked with Aurélien Mounier, a researcher at the CNRS and working at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris about his use of 3D modeling and printing technologies. He shares with us an overview of his work as a paleoanthropologist, tells us about his use of 3D modeling, his collaboration with Sculpteo’s on the net 3D printing certification support, and the alternatives made available by 3D printing certification in his everyday operate!


  • Can you current you?



I’m Aurélien Mounier, a researcher at the CNRS and operating at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, in a scientists group, the UMR7194 HNHP (Histoire Naturelle de l’Homme Préhistorique). I am a paleoanthropologist, which means that I am operating on researches relating to human evolution. 

Far more specially, I am fascinated in the last element of our lineage: the background of the Homo genus, which began 2 million a long time in the past. What we phone the Homo genus encompasses quite a few extinct species (Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis, for instance) together with our species Homo sapiens. All these extinct species are basically closer to us than other species this sort of as the australopithecines. 


  • In which context are you applying 3D?



Historically, paleoanthropologists are doing the job on anatomy, and bones morphology as bones are the most important tissues that preserve in the fossil document. We do morphological comparisons of these fossils with true human beings or chimpanzees. 

In the past several decades, the improvement of new technologies has aided us to quantify these specimens’ morphology applying analytical procedures which consider into account the morphology in a few-proportions. This is why I am now working with 3D scanning to work on 3D products.



  • Regarding the development of your 3D types, why do you use photogrammetry



There are quite a few solutions to get a 3D product. It is probable to use 3D scans from tomography or pictures to recreate the volume of an item in 3D. The edge of photogrammetry, compared to other procedures, is its selling price: it is a reduced-expense technic. A great camera is enough to acquire knowledge and software program to recreate the objects from shots is not high-priced. 

Then, it is pretty simple to transport the equipment to choose images, making it possible for to use photogrammetry during missions in museums, but also in the field. For example, when I do archeological excavation in the north of Kenya, it is an arid area, difficult to obtain, and on the location, there is no infrastructure (street, or electricity…)

Photogrammetry allows building a 3D model with high excellent about the form, but also the texture of the bones. It is made possible mainly because the model is designed from higher-top quality photographs.



  • What 3D program are you making use of?



For photogrammetry, I am working with Metashape by Agisoft, this software program allows developing 3D styles from photographs. For the cure of these 3D styles in advance of examining them I use Meshlab, an open up resource software package. 3D designs received from photogrammetry, 3D floor scans or computed tomography usually have some problems. Then, for examination and modeling, I use the R software program.



  • How is 3D present in your perform, and how is it aiding you with your jobs?



3D is seriously important in my function. Initial of all, 3D makes it possible for me to carry my fossils with me. In fact, it is unattainable for us to deliver again fossils from Kenya for study purposes. 3D versions allow for me to convey them back and get the job done on them below. 

Then, most of the analyses that I am accomplishing now are manufactured with 3D geometric morphometrics. This system makes it possible for operating on exclusively the form of the specimen, keeping away from the result of the dimensions on the shape. 

For case in point, with two specimens from the very same inhabitants, there can be some dissimilarities about the morphology that might just be induced by a change of dimensions: if one is truly tall, the morphology will always be various. Making use of geometric morphometrics is a way to only concentration on the shape.

I function with 3D modeling in get to estimate the hypothetical morphology of ancestors. These 3D models are a way to deliver doable ancestors and generate digital fossils. Then, they can be in contrast to the precise fossil. 


Representation of the phylogenetic of the Homo genus in the morphological house. In eco-friendly: the 1st reps of the Homo genus, in blue Homo neanderthalensis, and last but not least, Homo sapiens. These 3D types are representating digital ancestors for these 3 teams.



  • Why did you start out to use 3D printing certification?



3D printing certification is genuinely important to review fossils coming from abroad. Certainly, we can convey back again the fossil almost and 3D print it to get a new physical edition of it. With Sculpteo we not long ago 3D printed a fossil from Kenya. Fossils that I am also functioning on with 3D modeling can also be 3D printed and researched like serious ones. 



  • Did you use 3D printing certification for previous assignments? 



In 2016, in collaboration with professor Marta Mirazón Lahr from Cambridge University, I…