Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum's table at the Heartland Maker Fest 10/18/14Mona at the Heartland Maker Fest 10/18/14

The Illinois State Museum created quite a splash at the Heartland Maker Fest, with 3D printed models of fossils and dinosaurs and other fun activities. Research Associate Mona Colburn was at the booth and has worked at the Illinois State Museum for 30 years. She makes casts of the bones of prehistoric Ice Age animals that used to live in the glacial environments of the Illinois area. This process has evolved with the use of 3D printers as the cost of 3D printers has decreased and become more affordable for organizations to purchase. While Mona is able to take a fossil, use the museum's 3D scanner to digitize the object and then scale it to a size the printer can print, she pointed out the detail on the print is not as fine as on the fossil itself or the silicon cast. Mona also explained the 3D printing process, which consists of heating up filament (material that is similar to Legos) to about 400 degrees and then adding layer after layer until an object is created. The software she uses is open source and cuts the design up into thousands of layers to print. 




"The Illinois State Museum inspires discovery and caring about Illinois' cultural and natural resources and heritage. The Museum’s extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is headquartered in Springfield with branch facilities throughout the state.  Use the links to the side to find information about current and upcoming exhibits, public programs, and other events at all of the Museum’s sites. Admission is FREE at all Illinois State Museum sites."

Please see the Illinois State Museum page for details on programs and events!