Would you like to SUPER SIZE that bug?

By CSIRO

19 June 2013

Chad Henry is buggin' out with his supersized bugs.

Chad Henry with his super-sized creatures

This week, we’ve taken minuscule insects, like wheat weevils and Christmas beetles, and scaled them right up to almost 40 times their original size using a 3D scanning system.

We took the scanned files and sent them through our 3D printer and…. Voilà! In just 10 hours there were GIANT bugs everywhere, made from the finest quality titanium of course.

Our scientists are buggin’ out at the new 3D printed creatures because they show exciting new potential for entomologists studying the anatomy of miniscule insects by enabling them to physically handle them and study their features right up close.

They believe this technology will soon enable them to determine characteristics, such as gender, and examine surface characteristics which are otherwise difficult due to the minute size of, say, a tiny wheat weevil at only 3mm long.

Although printing bugs is unchartered territory for our scientists, they’re usually busy working in areas such as aerospace, automotive and biomedical, it brings together two really important areas of science – entomology and material science.

So weev (pardon the pun) still got a lot to learn from these super sized beetles and wheat weevils, but for now, we think our big bugs are the crème of the crop.

Want more info on 3D printing? Click here.