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A way to improve the transport of the monolith is that it is possible slide wooden bars, shovels or other tools into the hollow iron structure. These provide excellent grip for lifting and transport such block. One could imagine having especially constructed bars with wheels attached at their ends, that one could slide into the holes.

Since polyurethane foam remains relatively brittle, on could strap a net over the outside of the polyurethane in order to increase the rigidity of the block.


Mechanical preparation

Some alternatives to the grinder do exist. However, there are several disadvantages: 1) lack of power for heavy duty work (e.g. Dremel®), so if pressed too hard they might stop or jump backwards - which is dangerous both for the user and for the fossils; 2) cylindrical design (e.g. Dremel®), which makes them maneuverable, but provides a poor grip. 

One of the advantages of using a grinder is that the rotational plan of the disk is follows the length of the operator’s arm, i.e. it enables the preparator to operate for longer periods of time without exhausting. Whereas the rotary cylinder design goes perpendicular to the arm of the preparator, meaning wrist muscles are required.

The thickness and broadness of conventional grinders at the attachment point of the disk is one of the most limiting factors, since it makes it impossible to reach some places.

It would probably be possible to produce a tool that was more adapted to vertebrate paleontological preparation than a traditional grinder. It should be more resistant to lateral torsion on the disk as this sort of pressure is created when "polishing". So far, it has been only used regular rock cutting disks, but other types (e.g. like those used for polishing metal) could also be used. If a special tool was created it would probably be possible to create special disks that would be better adapted for the different tasks. However, a traditional grinder is relatively cheap (nowadays it can be bought for 20€, two years warranty) and can be acquired in almost any hardware shop.


3D scanning

The experimental 3D scanning work presented here projects to future possible pathways for the usage of this technology in aiding effectively preparation. As hand-held 3D scanning devices become less expensive, it is likely that they will become integrated in routine laboratory and field work. One could track the whole preparation process and it would also be possible to create 3D field maps in this way. An advantage is that it will enable to repeat the process several times, in order to visualize the advancement of work and to envisage clearly what bones lay under others as the preparation advances.

As for scanning bones completely after full preparation, it would be a huge leap ahead for scientists to be able to visualize all bones of a skeleton in 3D digital format, instead of comparing photos and notes like as it is done now. It can cut down on travel costs to see specimens and it would permit for accurate comparison of already studied specimens.



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