3-D printer printing a prehistoric ant

3-D printer printing a prehistoric ant

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This image is part of the feature 21st Century Machine Shines Light Onto A Fossil World


Caption: 3-D inkjet printer printing a model of a prehistoric ant. The printer is producing an enlarged model of a fossil ant that was found in 100-million-year-old opaque amber (fossilised conifer plant resin). The amber was scanned using X-rays from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. This produces X-rays that are one thousand billion times brighter than hospital X-rays and can image the interior of opaque amber samples at high resolution. Multiple scans of the sample creates virtual 'slices' that can be reconstructed into 3-D computer models or printed into physical models. 3-D inkjet printers create models by glueing fine powder layer by layer.

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