The Bartlett School of Architecture


B-made 3D printing technology restores rare quagga skeleton

26 August 2015

quagga with 4 legs ucl bmade

Cutting-edge technology from The Bartlett School of Architecture's B-made (Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange) facility has enabled the world’s rarest skeleton – a South African extinct zebra called a quagga – to stand on four legs once again.

Restored by UCL’s Grant Museum of Zoology as part of a major restoration project, Bone Idols, the quagga is one of only seven quagga skeletons to survive globally and is the only one on display in the UK.

Skeleton conservation specialists worked together to scan the quagga's one remaining right hind leg in a CT machine creating a precise mirror-image of the resulting data, perfectly replicating the missing left leg on the screen. This computer image was then modelled in solid nylon using a 3D printer at The Bartlett School of Architecture’s B-made centre. 

The reproduction of the missing leg was the final step in a major undertaking to restore the Museum’s invaluable specimen (pictured above).

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Image: Quagga with four legs at the UCL Grant Museum of Zoology