Caspar Berger, a Dutch artist used CT scanner to get the detailed anatomical data of his body. He then used that data to make an exact copy of his skeleton with the help of a 3D printer. For his artistic approach he needed precise and detailed information of each and every bone of the body. So he used the latest CT scanner at Toshiba Medical Systems Europe, which can produce cross-sections of the body just half a millimetre thick.
After the successful separation of his bones with the rest of body he used 3D printer to create his bones. The material used for construction of these bones was a translucent resin. Gold, silver, bronze and plaster castings were then performed on these bones. After the creation of his skeleton Caspar sent his skull to a forensic anthropologist, since he wanted to get demonstration of how well a naked skeleton can preserve our outward appearance. The anthropologist used his expert knowledge in laying layers of clay muscle, tissues and skin (the process is known as facial reconstruction). Before handing the 3D printed skull to the anthropologist, the only information shared with him was that subject was a man born in Western Europe and he was in his mid 40s. On the completion of the sculpture, it was titled as ‘Self Portrait 21’
On his website Berger said “I have now turned to what supports the body: the skeleton. I see the skeleton as the basis of the physical body, but also as the carrier of our ‘eternal identity’, which long after we are gone continues to reveal who we were.”
The 3D printing technology is not new, but the possibilities of this technology can be endless. Using such technology to scan and print subject’s bones and ultimately replace defected ones can be a big achievement. We hope to see such technology in the coming future.