How to scan a T. rex skull for $150

Researchers ran into a problem when they tried to scan and study the hole-ridden jawbone from Sue, the Field Museum of Natural History’s famous T. rex skeleton in Chicago. The jaw was just too big for their high-resolution 3-D scanner. So they turned to MIT Media Lab’s Camera Culture group, which has created a low-cost 3-D scanning system that uses Microsoft’s Kinect video-game camera. The MIT team scanned the entire 5-foot-long skull to a resolution of 500 micrometers, taking advantage of free software and a hardware rig that cost only $150.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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