CHEK Upside: Saanichton artist recreates prehistoric millipede

Watch A Saanichton 3D modeler has come up with the ultimate replica of an Arthropleura for the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Illinois.

David Hrycun has been making 3D artistic visions come to life for nearly 30 years, but his latest creation just might be his most bizarre.

“It’s definitely not the prettiest thing in the world, only a face a mother could love,” says the veteran artist from his Saanichton warehouse.

Hrycun recently tackled recreating an Arthropleura for the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Illinois. The massive millipedes roamed the earth between 290 to 345 million years ago, and could grow to be more than six feet in length.

A lack of intact fossils have made it difficult for scientists to surmise what an Arthropleura would actually look like, so 3D modelers like Hrycun have to take their best-educated guess with each creation.

“You have to go with other models that were created and kind of go with that. You can’t really change it up, or else you might be criticized for doing that,” says Hrycun.

While he might be used to making fiberglass fish molds and smaller pieces of artwork, creating such a detailed piece was well worth the effort. The entire project took nearly a month. There are over 30 individual backplates as well as 56 individual legs that are all held on by magnates.

“Just all in a days work. It’s what I do. I love pushing limits and learning more about programming and using the machines and I learn something every time I do something,” quips Hrycun.

The ongoing pandemic and unrest in the United States didn’t make the project any easier. The museum has just reopened to the public, and Hrycun plans to ship the model back to Illinois in the next week.

“It took them a while to decide to move forward with this project and then they got a virus discount,” laughs Hrycun.

To find out more about Hrycun’s previous work and ongoing projects, visit

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!