Researchers in the US are set to use 3D printer supplies to help further their understanding of dinosaurs.

A team at Drexel University in Philadelphia plan to use the technology to recreate scale models of fossilised bones, which will then be used to create robotic representations of prehistoric creatures in order to gain insight into how they moved.

Associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Dr Kenneth Lacovara explained: "We don't know a lot about the way dinosaurs move … How did they stand? How did they ambulate? … It's all a bit mysterious."

It is hoped the use of 3D printers will help answer some of these questions by creating artificial bones, muscles and tendons quickly that can they be subjected to stress tests.

Dr Lacovara described the technology as "kind of like Star Trek", where they can simply push a button and have an object built from scratch.

Other uses that 3D printers have been put to recently include the creation of an artificial jaw for a patient in the Netherlands, which was designed to accurately match the recipient's features before being printed out of titanium.