Engineering Design and Prototyping Center Assists with Sloth Exhibit

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

October 17, 2008

The remains of a family of Ice Age-eera giant sloths are on their way to the UI Museum of Natural History with the help of a National Science Foundation grant -- and the assistance of the College of Engineering's Engineering Design and Prototyping Center.  The news appeared in the October 17 issue of the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

To explore what the animals might have been like -- how much they weighed, how they moved, how they died -- duplicates of the fragile and ancient bones of the sloths have been created.

Herb Dircks, consultant for the Design and Prototyping Center, said that the duplicates are created from CAT images provided by the Department of Radiology in a machine that works like a 3-D ink jet printer.  Instead of ink, it releases microscopic layers of plastic to recreate exact models of the bones.

The duplicates also will be used for educational purposes and to avoid contaminating the bones.

To read the complete story, click here.