Paper No. 30-14
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM
MAKING MICRO MACRO: METHODS FOR ACCURATE HAND-SIZED 3D PRINTED REPLICAS OF THE MOST COMMON MARINE MICROFOSSILS
The most common marine microfossils range in size from ~ 1 mm to 2 µm, and are composed of calcite (planktonic and benthic foraminifers, calcareous dinoflagellate cysts, calcareous nannofossils), opaline silica (radiolarians, diatoms, silicoflagellates), phosphate (ichthyoliths) and complex organic compounds (dinoflagellate and other algal cysts, pollen, spores). Several 3D imaging techniques (micro-CT, confocal microscopy) have been tested on this wide range of sizes and compositions with the goal of obtaining the best resolutions as well as determining the most economical methods for obtaining accurate 3D volume renderings and surface renderings of each microfossil type. Methods for converting 3D files into high quality printed replicas will be explained, including avoiding pitfalls in the printing process. In addition to producing printed replicas of physical microfossil forms, I will also demonstrate printing optical characteristics of certain microfossils that reflect their ultrastructural features rather than their physical form. Virtual optical sectioning of 3D renderings allow the interiors as well as exteriors to be viewed, both on screen as well as in print. Hand-sized specimens will make it much easier to illustrate microfossil morphologies to students, and to help students to better interpret what they see in the microscope. Both 3D volume renderings on screen and 3D prints will allow researchers to better illustrate their taxonomic observations and interpretations with other researchers. Printed samples of each microfossil type will augment the poster, and .stl files of microfossils will be made available to the audience.