3D Printed Life-Size Dinosaur Models

Imagine walking into a museum and seeing a life sized dinosaur as tall as 15 feet (5 meters tall). The sheer size would impress you. The accuracy and attention to detail would wow you.

But did you ever think about how these life-sized dinosaur models were created? Well CDM:Studio are experts at this. They are a model making company based in Perth Western Australia that specializes in interpretive design and fabrication for museums, architects, designers and builders.

The Challenge

Western Australian Museum came to CDM: Studio for help with an exhibit that would feature life size dinosaurs and other animals. The challenge: create over 110 models in just 9 months. In the past, each dinosaur or animal would have had to been modeled out of clay, which takes a very long time and very skilled sculptures to . And with a timeline of only 9 months, it would not have been possible.

Life-Size 3D Printed Dinosaurs and More by CDM STUDIOS

Enter 3D Printing

In order to meet this short deadline, CDM: Studio needed to come up with a way to produce the models faster, with less dependency on humans, who can’t work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The BigRep ONE was the perfect solution to what they needed – large build size and able to work non-stop.

Now thanks to digital modeling using Zbrush, the files were then sent to the BigRep ONE for 3D Printing. The parts were optimized for 3D printing with internal mounting structures since many of the creatures would then be hanging in the museum.

“BigRep ONE is a workhouse and able to make all these models that we couldn’t have done any other way,” said Jason Kongchouy, Studio Manager at CDM: Studio.

Once the models were finished printing – due to the enormous size of the dinosaurs, the printed parts needed to be glued together to create a 1:1 life size scale of the dinosaurs. The average size of the parts were 3 feet (90 cm) long. Next they were post-processed and painted for an authentic, realistic finish.

3D Printed Model of a Life-Sized Dinosaur

Creating Accurate, Realistic Parts

One of the benefits of 3D printing is being able to produce exact replicas from a digital file. For Western Australian Museum, having accurate representations of the dinosaurs was extremely important. Every digital file was approved by scientists and museum staff. So the 3D prints came off the machine that came off the machine needed to match what was approved, and with the BigRep ONE CDM: Studio was able to do that.

“What came off the machine which is really, really important with our business. Where we are trying to get the scientist accuracy correct,” commented Kongchouv.

Future of 3D Printing for Model Makers

As customers expect you to meet shorter and shorter deadlines, 3D printing is becoming an essential tool to meet them. Having the ability to print non-stop and produce accurate models is a big competitive advantage for companies like CDM: Studios.

Kongchouv concluded with, “If you are not integrating 3D printing into your pipeline you are just going to fall behind. The BigRep has shifted our industry forever.”


The BigRep ONE is an affordable entry into large-format 3D printing. With proven dependability to work around the clock, the ONE brings your designs to life in full-scale.

Learn More


The BigRep ONE is an affordable entry into large-format 3D printing. With proven dependability to work around the clock, the ONE brings your designs to life in full-scale.

Learn More

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