African Fossils seeks to increase public knowledge about prehistory by harnessing modern technology. Through digitizing otherwise inaccessible discoveries, African Fossils is dedicated to creating a growing repository of 3D models of significant fossils and artifacts, thus making them freely accessible to all. By allowing members to share their 3D printed creations, we hope to aid teachers, students and enthusiasts to exchange ideas and to be inspired to think about our tenuous place on the planet.
Most of the models have been captured using photometry and an SLR camera mounted on a tripod. The software used to convert the photos into 3D digital models are: Autodesk®123D™ Catch, Autodesk® ReCap™ Photo, Autodesk® Remake and the point clouds are processed using 3D Systems Geomagic Software and Meshlab. Many of the models were captured using the Artec range of Structured Light Scanners, Artec Spider, Artec Eva and Artec Space Spider in conjunction with the software Artec Studio 11. In addition some of models were captured using the LMI Technologies structured light scanner. The scanned collections include specimens housed in the National Museums of Kenya and the Turkana Basin Institute field stations. Some scans are taken from cast replicas rather than original specimens. The digital models on this site have been made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike License. Please refer to the Disclaimer and Terms and Conditions for more information.
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The African Fossils virtual laboratory has been built with the technical and financial support of Autodesk. Our other principal partners are the Turkana Basin Institute, and the National Museums of Kenya, Stony Brook University and the National Geographic Society.
We welcome new partners and collaborators interested in using digital media to promote scientific knowledge through this site. We will link to your enterprise or institution, adding you to the growing list of our collaborators below.
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Because we are committed to making the digital collection freely accessible, African Fossils relies heavily on philanthropy and pro bono contributions to support our work.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation as an individual, click here. Your donation will help us to expand our digital collection, develop the African Fossils site, and to extend our outreach campaign into classrooms. We will also add you to our honor roll.
If you are a business offering products or services that tie in with our mission, we would love to explore possibilities with you.