People are 3D printing everything these days, and I do mean everything. This includes body parts, food, incredible replicas, machine parts and even guns. What you see in the pictures below are 3D printed giant bugs. They look like fantastic art pieces, and although they were first created for an art exhibit, the purpose of 3D printing them is more sophisticated than that.
These giant bugs started out to be microscopic in size, and they were 3D printed up to 50 times their original size. You are probably wondering why someone would do that. Well, the first reason is because they look cool. It’s not everyday that microscopic bugs, which the human eye can barely see, are blown up to be giant bugs that people can easily hold.
However, the main reason is so scientists and researchers can learn more about these naturally tiny creatures. Before 3D printing these bugs, it was hard to learn their gender and details about their anatomy. Here’s the kicker – the material used to 3D print these giant bugs is titanium. This is all a project by researchers with Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
In order to make these titanium bugs, it takes 10 hours (the 3D printer can create 12 at the same time). According to Chad Henry, CSIRO’s Additive Manufacturing Operations Manager, “Giant bug production is not necessarily where we saw ourselves going; however, this project is exciting because it brings together two key areas of science – manufacturing and entomology.”
I think it would be amazing to have these bugs in the classroom. Think about how much the children could learn about biology from holding and studying these. They might even be able to help some people feel less squeamish about bugs.
Giant Bugs 3D Printed In Titanium
(Click Images To Enlarge)