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3D Printed Mammoth by Taiwan National Science and Technology Museum

National Science and Technology Museum (hereinafter referred to as NSTM) invited Go Hot Technologies Co., Ltd., the exclusive agent of Tiertime in Taiwan, as the only 3D printing partner in the important “Journey of Printing Collections” themed exhibition in 2014 to truly reproduce the 3D model of prehistoric mammoth of the Ice Age by using desktop flagship 3D printer UP Plus 2 of Tiertime. It became the highlight in the exhibition and received appraises from visitors. By reproducing and three dimensional display the animals that have disappeared in the world with 3D printing technology, the NSTM made the science popularization education attract more.
As the first museum of applied science in Kaohsiung Taiwan, the NSTM takes “integration of science and life, promotion of survival and development of individuals and the social improvement” as the target in the education of science and technology for the public.

The NSTM held the “Journey of Printing Collections” in the early 2014 to display the evolution of printing technology. The curator came up with the idea of reproducing Mammoth with 3D printing technology by considering the potential of 3D printing technology in printing area and associating with the “Exhibition of Mammoth” in that period. “If all exhibitions are based on the history recollection, we need to keep our eyes on the future.” the director of “Journey of Printing Collections” said. Thus by cooperating with Go Hot Technologies Co., Ltd., a famous 3D printing company in Taiwan, the NSTM reproduced the prehistoric mammoth using desktop flagship 3D printer UP Plus 2 from Tiertime.

The NSTM’s workers faced the technology challenges below in making the ideas into reality.

Firstly, there is difficulty in printing the mammoth with dimensions of 100 x 100 x 100cm by using UP Plus 2 with forming space of 14 x 14 x 13.5 cm. To solve this problem, the NSTM divided the figure of overall design model into 197 parts and printed them separately and then combined them together, all of which required high printing precision. “The horizontality, verticality and precision of printed parts of large object are of great importance. The slight deviation of single part can lead to larger deviation and thus affect the combination of model”, the NSTM’s 3D printing designer said.

Two primary reasons for choosing UP Plus 2 of Tiertime as 3D printer by NSTM’s designers: high precision that makes the printed parts free from additional repair; small tolerance that is good for controlling deviation within reasonable range while assembling the parts.

The second challenge for the NSTM is how to shorten the verification and final printing time, which was finally solved by the convenience and stability of UP Plus 2. “The print command can be executed by pressing one key, which can help realize the design ideas immediately, form the models quickly and then verify if the design is satisfactory. The faults (if any) can be solved in the shortest time to shorten the verification time of 3D model”, the worker said. What’s more, UP Plus 2 can provide supports automatically to hanging parts, thus avoiding the extra consideration of gravitation. “UP Plus 2 also has good stability to ensure long-time printing and low failure rate, which are technical advantages to have high working efficiency and shorten the time”, the worker added.

Besides, there won’t many wastes of cut materials and chips in UP Plus 2 during forming of model and only printing materials will be consumed, which conforms to the environmental protection concept of the NSTM.

The reproduced prehistoric mammoth through 3D printing has become popular and famous among the public since its exhibition. “We come to realize that 3D printing is not just about science and technology. The way we manufacture is changing and the digital tools will penetrate our lives soon. The things in our imagination can be easily printed, which can accelerate the realization of concept. The concept will lead the consumer market, which will come true in the future. The science popularization education must be adjusted to educate the next generation to embrace the revolutions in manufacturing and consuming in the era of digital tools!” the NSTM’s director said.