Dinosaurs on campus

3-D printed dinosaurs have been left around NDSU

The dinosaur that has been left around campus. Photo Courtesy | Anne Kesler

North Dakota State University has seen a series of mini dinosaurs around the campus. An NDSU student has 3-D printed hundreds of mini dinosaurs leaving them all around campus for students to find or spot. The gray dinosaurs that are left are less than an inch tall. 

The creator originally printed the dinosaurs for a replacement piece in a board game. He later began to mass produce the dinosaurs, leaving them around campus. “I started leaving them at a wrestling match in the SHAC, just leaving them on little ledges,” said the anonymous creator.

“I just kept printing them for weeks and weeks and leaving them all around campus,” he stated. The dinosaurs quickly spread across the campus and started being noticed by NDSU students and faculty.

“I started printing them in my room on a 3-D printer I was borrowing,” he started. He later moved to the 3-D printing club at NDSU to mass produce the dinosaurs. He has also printed much larger dinosaurs, but is currently only distributing the smallest ones. 

Most of the dinosaurs that have been left on campus have been in the Memorial Union and the A. Glenn Hill Center. Many were first left at the Wellness Center as well. “Wherever classes are or just walking around, just leave them wherever,” he said. He is also working on getting more dinosaurs to the downtown campus.

He estimates that he has printed approximately 300 dinosaurs so far. “I counted for the first 80, then I lost track,” he said. He repeatedly returns to print more dinosaurs so more can be left around campus.

The dinosaurs are only left indoors to avoid littering. He believes that the cleaning staff will often pick them up and throw them away. 

He carries the small dinosaurs in a sandwich bag to carry on campus. He gives small amounts to other students who help him distribute some of the dinosaurs, particularly to places that he does not have class. 

The dinosaurs have also spread outside of North Dakota. He brought the printed dinosaurs with him on his spring break trip. Driving across the United States he left them in various places along the drive. 

Students can pick them up or just see the dinosaurs floating around campus. “There could be 300 people with a dinosaur in their backpack,” he said.  

Students will hopefully see more dinosaurs on campus, adding a little humor to their day. 

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