The scans currently available

Good morning,

We now have two sets of fetal osteology scans available. One set is for a fetus who died at 6-6.5 months gestational age and the other is for a fetus 8-8.5 months of age. We are continuing to scan elements and will make them available as soon as they are finished but so far we have the following bones available for download:

Fetus (6-6.5 months gestational age)

Left humerus, radius, ulna, tibia

Right humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia

Fetus (8-8.5 months gestational age)

occipital squama, sphenoid body

Left petrous temporal, pars lateralis, sphenoid greater wing, malar, maxilla, mandible, clavicle, scapula, femur, tibia, fibula

Right ribs 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10

We are also beginning the process of scanning adult dentition and we have the following teeth available:

Left maxillary lateral incisor, premolar, molar

Left mandibular molar

And, we are also scanning some of the pathological specimens in our skeletal collection. So far, we have spinal elements from a 68-year-old male who died of a pulmonary embolism (a complication of his lung cancer). He had spondylolisthesis and ankylosis of C-5 through 6; T-9 through 10; and T-10 to L-1. We have scanned most of the vertebral elements but are still working on T-9 through 10; and T-10 to L-1.

For all of these specimens, obj and scn files are available for download to members of the team platform. Please fill out the form below with an academic email address to access the scans.


New scans available

At this point, we have the following fetal skeletal elements available:

L maxilla, L mandible, occipital squama, L malar, L petrous temporal, and L sphenoid greater wing, L scapula, L clavicle, R ribs (1, 2, 5-8), R tibia, and L fibula

We look forward to adding more scans soon!

Viewing the scans

You can view screenshots of the scans on our team platform but we wanted to make everyone aware that if you click on the scan and then click on “Open in 3d viewer” (on the left menu), you can actually rotate the scan online. Should you choose to download the scans, there is a “Download” button to the left on this screen as well. The .obj files can be viewed using free software for your computer or mobile devices (Meshlab, for example). The .scn files are the original file format. These can be imported into your own scanning package. Printing the scans is allowed as long as the scans are for teaching or other academic purposes. If you print some, let us know how that goes!

Welcome to the 3d Osteology Teaching Resource

This blog was instituted to provide access to 3d scans of human skeletal elements to biological anthropologists. Our ultimate goal is to provide scans of all of the skeletal elements from human fetuses of different ages, cases of pathology, and traumatic injury. These scans are to be used for teaching purposes. To obtain access to the scans, please fill out the contact form below. We will send permission forms to verifiable university email addresses.

To date, we have scanned and completed the post-processing for skeletal elements from a 6 month old and a 10-month old fetus. We have also made available a few adult human teeth and some pathological specimens.

Additional elements will be made available on the TeamPlatform as they are completed. All of the scans were made using the NextEngine machine and the Pro scanning software. The files are available in .scn or .obj formats.

To access the scans, please fill out the form below. PLEASE use your academic email address so we can verify your affiliation and you can receive access to the scans:

As part of the permissions process, affiliated faculty must agree not to disseminate the scans to others without express written consent of the Osteology Lab director. Contact information will be provided once permission to access the scans has been authorized.

Acknowledgments: This project would not have been possible without funding from the Appalachian State University College of Arts and Sciences. We deeply appreciate specimens loaned by the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Deepest appreciation is also extended Ashley Green, who scanned the fetal remains, and Matthew Nisbet, who scanned the dentition by coating the teeth with a fine layer of ammonium chloride. This project would not have been possible without their support.

Logistical information

Here is how the access works. Once you fill in the form above, and your email is verified, we send you a link to sign up for guest access to our Team Platform site. Then we can invite you to access our workspaces, where the files are shared. If you do not specify, we will send you a link to both the fetal osteology collection and the adult teeth. If you do not want all of the scans, please specify in your message.

We have had 210 visitors from 13 countries in the first two hours! This is terrific! Please share this resource widely.