3D Update

The 3D work on the birds for the Connecticut Bird Hall continues to move forward. I thought I would write up an update on the latest work and post some photos.


Female Merlin falcon in process


Finished Merlin ready for installation

We are scanning study skins from the Ornithology collection. This is a male Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage. The study skins can give me accurate wing measurements and some sense of the body shape, but it mostly gives me a solid armature on which to sculpt the body.



Sculpted Ruddy Duck from the study skin scan

In the case of the Ruddy Duck, the head and tail of the 3D print were cut off on the band saw. The head was re-positioned on top of the body using a wooden dowel and epoxy. Clay was sculpted over it and a cast bill was added. A tail was carved in wood and the feather detail added with a wood burning tool. The clay model will then be scanned, printed at 97%, and coated with a thin layer of wax. Feather patterns will be sculpted over the wax surface and finally painted using the original study skin as a reference for color. Collin is exploring software (Sculptris and Meshmixer) to manipulate the scans on the computer screen rather than on the band saw.

We are also creating scanned models of extinct birds. I have almost finished the sculpting on the passenger pigeon.


Passenger Pigeon and Heath Hen (both extinct) at a preliminary stage


Passenger Pigeon almost ready to paint (it needs sculpted feet!)


Black-necked Stilt. We scanned a larger-sized Avocet and printed it at 80% to get the right size for this model.

The following photos are bird models ready for paint or in process with paint.IMG_0881


Long-billed Curlew (note the study skin from which the scan was made.)

IMG_0797 copy

Hudsonian Godwit, Red Knot, and Long-billed Dowatcher models ready for paint.

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