The school’s latest project is to recreate missing parts of a bowhead whale for academic study and human appreciation.
Camosun College’s Camosun Innovates and Technology Access Center worked with Cetacea Contracting to scan and fabricate replicas of missing bone fragments from large animals – some up to 4.3 meters in length – using a college 3D printer.
“Compared to conventional means of replicating whale bones which would involve removing real bones from a whale of the same size and throwing new ones, or even sculpting them by hand, we are able to scan in 3D the donor bones, resize them to the appropriate size and then produce replicas in a fairly short period of time, ”said Matt Zeleny, applied research specialist at Camosun Innovates.
“Using the technology available today and Camosun’s expertise, this makes the 3D scanning, printing and replication process feasible and affordable for our partners.”
Cetacea Contracting of Salt Spring Island is an expert in the articulation and presentation of mammalian skeletons. They worked with Camosun to design a faster and cheaper replication method.
“Camosun Innovates has both the knowledge and the cutting edge technology to advance our work,” said Mike de Roos, President of Cetacea Contracting.
“They have been ideal partners in helping us work with clients around the world to design exhibits and reproduce skeletal parts of the highest quality and precision in a cost-effective and timely manner. Our capacity as a small business has grown significantly since our partnership with Camosun Innovates and we couldn’t be happier to have such a great and local partner right here in British Columbia.
Past projects include work on an anatomically correct joint and frame design of a historic blue whale skeleton for the Western Australia Museum in Perth and the design of a humpback whale skeleton exhibit for the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation in Queensland, Australia.
Their latest project is to recreate missing parts of a bowhead whale for academic study and human appreciation. When completed, the life-size, scientifically accurate specimen will be hung in an enclosure at the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska.
Camosun College, established in 1971, is one of the largest colleges in the province, offering academic and applied programs to 20,000 students each year.