3D printed skull. Source: Scott Camazine
3D printed skull. Source: Scott Camazine

Dr. Scott Camazine reached his funding goal for his second Kickstarter project in just a few days. Like his first project that was also fully funded, this project focuses on animal skulls. The miniature animal skulls, cleverly called Skulptures, are cast in bronze, brass, sterling silver, and 14K gold.

Camazine, an ER doctor by trade, begins with a high resolution CT scan of each animal skull. He then uses radiology and 3D modelling software to create a digital model of the skull that is optimized for 3D printing. “Simply put, without 3D modeling and 3D printing, I could never have done this,” said Camazine. “Previously, I did some lost wax casting, but in these cases, you cannot scale the object. What is wonderful about making a 3D model from a CT scan is that I can effortlessly scale the skull to any size.” 

In his Kickstarter campaign, Camazine has scaled the skulls to a size that can be worn as a pendant or other jewelry, such as earrings. They can also be displayed in a bell jar display. Backers of the project will receive one or more skulls and a pedant chain and/or bell jar display depending on how much they fund the project.

The skulls include animals such as a beaver, badger and white-tailed buck. There are also some more exotic skulls like a giraffe, elephant and chimpanzee. Camazine gathered the skulls from various sources. “Most of the less exotic animals have come from private collections, including my own, said Camazine. “As a biologist, I also know researchers who have loaned me skulls. I was able to get the spider monkey and a baboon to scan. Finally, other researchers have taken CT scans of animals for their own work and have been generous enough to let me use their data.”

Camazine’s passion for animals and biology began when he was young. As a teenager, he spent much of his time collecting insects and assembling skeletons from dead animals that he found. After learning about lost wax at a summer camp, he made his first silver mushroom. “I didn't want to just collect things and put them in jars of alcohol or formaldehyde. I wanted to find a way to display their intricate beauty,” said Camazine.

While he has created and continues to create many animal sculptures, he still has a favorite. “I have a fondness for the spider monkey skull since that was the first one I worked on. It took so long to get the 3D model just right. Also, the big eyes are haunting, almost human, and remind us that every creature has a story, a soul, and deserves our care and respect,” said Camazine.

We asked Camazine about the possibility of future Kickstarter projects and additions to his Skulpture collection. “I like to get my hands on a project and run with it for as long as it seems interesting and viable,” said Camazine. “I have many more skulls that need to be scanned, and will continue to add more animals to the collection. There are also quite a few people that are interested in fantasy creatures such as dragons or unusual hybrids such as a chimpanzee skull with buck horns. So far, I have made pendants of a ‘Chimpala’ and ‘Buck Chimp’.”

The Kickstarter project, Skulptures: Miniature Metal Cast Animal Skulls from CT Scans, ends on March 5, 2014. More information is available here.