Dinosaurs, Fossils, 3D Printing. Oh my!

December 30th, 2013

By: Jason Brown

The other day, I was reading a book about dinosaurs to my kids. As I was reading, I thought about how cool it would be to 3D print a dinosaur fossil. I searched online and found many dinosaur fossil drawings but chose one that I recognized from the book, a Tarbosaurus skull.

Using SLS technology, I printed the skull in our omniGRO material. While the skull was printing I decided to research the background of the Tarbosaurus.  I learned the Tarbosaurus is a distant cousin to the Tyranosaurus.  While the Tyranosaurus is found in North America, the Tarbosaurus is only found in parts of Asia.  In fact, it is illegal to remove any fossils found in parts of Asia from that region. But thanks to 3D printing magic, we can easily obtain replicas of these fossils for our schools and museums without ever damaging or removing the artifacts from their place of origin.


When I took the skull home, I decided to have a little fun with it.  I buried the skull alongside a dirt path close to my house.  I took my kids on one of our daily walks and pointed out to them what looked like a cool white rock poking out of the dirt. My kids began to unearth the rock only to find it was…a dinosaur skull! We quickly cleaned it off and took it home.


IMG_20131229_112512 (600x800)

Once we were home I told them it wasn’t a real skull but one that I printed at work. They were still so amazed to be holding a fossil in their hands.  Even if it was a replica, it was 10 times better that just an image in a book. We looked up more information on the Tarbosaurus together and compared the images we saw with the printed skull.  They were able to see how artists rendered drawings based off the actual skull itself. My son’s new favorite dinosaur is now the Tarbosaurus.

Tarbosaurus Skull3

I know I am fortunate enough to have the resources available at GROWit to print educational parts like this dino-skull, but I hope to see these resources available in schools across America as well. With the development of technology like this, it would be a shame not to encourage teachers and our youth to think differently about manufacturing and innovation; 3D printing is the way to accomplish this.

MakerBot Academy has already announced their “educational mission” to put a MakerBot Desktop 3D printer in every school in the United States of America.  MakerBot believes in educating the next generation of innovative makers by giving them early exposure to 3D printing.  Instead of teachers using images to demonstrate an object in class they can create their own 3D version of it. 3D printing in education can change the whole standard of how our children will see innovation and manufacturing in America. 3D printers in classrooms could also encourage kids to follow their passions and hopefully help develop more engineers, architects, industrial designers, artists and entrepreneurs.

“Bringing 3D printing into the classroom exposes learners to the same cutting-edge technologies they’ll encounter in their careers. It gives them a jump-start on tomorrow’s challenges.” (stratasys)

There have been many case studies on how 3D printing has improved education. From fifth-graders embracing STEM education to teens testing their inventions in zero gravity, 3D printing has changed the whole learning dynamic for students.

It is safe to say, 3D printing is going to be a big part of future education.

You DREAM it. We GROWit.

To view live documentation of this discovery click here:

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POW :: Carbon Fiber Murex

December 11th, 2013


Process: Plastic Laser Sintering (PLS)

Material: CarbonGRO

Purpose: Customized wireless amplifier with LOTS of POWER

Looking for the perfect Holiday gift this season? Shop our Symphony Shells line in the GROWables store!

You DREAM it. We GROWit.

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12 Days of Printing – Design Challenge

December 6th, 2013


GROWit Holiday Design Challenge

It is that time of the year and we are in the Holiday Spirit! Show us your most creative holiday inspired decoration!

Contest Time Period: December 6th-20th

December 6th-17th – Submission period

December 20th – Design shipped – Just in time for Christmas!


We challenge you to create a holiday ornament or decoration design using Tinkercad.

How to Enter:

  1. Using Tinkercad, create your best holiday inspired decoration (could be an ornament, a figurine, stocking hook…your possibilities are endless, so show us your best!)
  2. Send your file to contests@growit3d.com
  3. Title your submission: “12 Days of Printing – Your Name”
  4. Include your name, shipping address and phone number
  5. Take a screenshot of your design and share it with friends – Don’t forget to include the hashtag #12daysofprinting and tag @GROWit3D
  6. Accepted file formats are: .stl


  • All entries must be created using Tinkercad
  • Entries can be submitted daily until December 17th, 2013 11:59PM PST
  • Multiple entries are accepted
  • Bounding box of design should be no bigger than: 4 in x 4 in x 4 in
  • Minimum wall thickness on designs: 0.04”
  • Winner(s) will be chosen by the GROWit selection team
  • Winner(s) will be announced Thursday December 19th, 2013


  1. The designer(s) of the best holiday inspired ornament will win their own 3D printed design with features on the GROWit blog and social media channels!
  2. Winning designs will be sold in the GROWit store with recognition to the designer.
  3. 10% of all sales will be awarded to the winning designers for sales through December 31, 2013

Terms and Conditions:

  • By submitting an entry (which includes a 3D file, pictures and text description) to GROWit, you grant a non-exclusive, royalty free, unlimited in the time, worldwide license to GROWit to display the design you submitted and/or a reproduction of this design for any purposes. GROWit has the right to reproduce in 3D, sell reproductions of model, take photographs/pictures and reproduce the pictures of the design on any support (CD, DVD, internet, folder, etc.) for GROWit purposes. By submitting your design to the challenge, you state that you are the sole creator of the model and that you do not infringe any copyright or any other intellectual property right (trademark, design and mode, patent, etc.) of a third party and/or that you obtained all the necessary permissions in order to duly allow such a license to GROWit.
  • All entries must be unique and never 3D printed before.
  • All entries must be created on Tinkercad.com
  • GROWit reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.
  • Prizes must be accepted as awarded. No cash alternatives or substitutes will be allowed. The decision of the jury will be final.

12 Days of Printing - Official Rules PDF

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