About 3D Printing

      All items sold on this website are reproductions (replicas). All Bone Clones® products are made in the USA. No real or natural bone material is available on this site.      

With the advent of 3D scanners and printers, it would be easy to assume that many, or all of our products are 3D printed, but in fact, most are not. We'd like to take a moment to clarify the processes we employ to create our products, and to emphasize that in the end, all Bone Clones® casts are produced using traditional molding techniques, cast using custom-formulated polyurethane resin that we mix in-house, and hand-finished. All Bone Clones® products are full 1:1 scale, unless otherwise noted.

Hand-Made

The majority of our products are molded directly from carefully-selected original (real bone) specimens, which are graciously loaned to us by educational institutions and museums. See the Choosing Original Specimens page on our website. Most of our Fossil Hominid Skulls are carefully created by our team of anatomical sculptors in conjunction with our anthropology consultants. The clay sculpture is then molded and cast with our resin, and hand finished.

A small number of our more recent products have had 3D scanning and printing techniques employed in their development. This technology has allowed us greater flexibility in the types of new products we can develop. These include skeletal and soft-tissue models made from CT scans of living persons, and casts of specimens that are too fragile to be molded using our traditional methods. This also allows us to scale an object up (revealing details too small to be seen by the naked eye) or down. Examples of scanning methods we employ include medical CT and MRI imaging, micro-CT and nano-CT scanning, 3D surface scanning, and photogrammetry. Scans must be hand prepared before they are 3D printed.

European Male Skull

TSBC-107 BC-107 TSBC-107 and BC-107

Half-Scale (1:2)
TSBC-107

Full-Scale (1:1)
BC-107

TSBC-107 and BC-107

We've found that 3D scans and prints generally yield a "softer" level of detail than a cast that was molded directly from an original specimen. While the prints are often quite good, details still need to be refined or re-introduced meticulously by hand, and printing artifacts need to be removed. Once we've finished refining the printed model, it is molded using our traditional methods, cast in our custom polyurethane resin, and then painted and finished by hand. Products which originate in this way are identified as such in their product description, and are included in the 3D Scanned & Printed category on our website. Products that are scaled up or down are also identified.

Printout TSBC-107 BC-107

Raw 3D printout of
half-scale European male

Half-scale product,
artifacts removed,
details re-introduced

Full-scale product
molded directly from
original bone specimen

triple lines

Cave Myotis Bat Skull

Cave Myotis Bat Skull

Left: BC-334 full scale (1:1)   Right: TSBC-334 3D processed, 8x overscale (8:1)