3d Digitizer by cultlab3d

Smithsonian 3d Laser Scanning – Digitising The Future

Smithsonian X 3D

Our world is changing fast! The Smithsonian is showing the way to the future by digitising their vast curated collection. The project is called ‘Smithsonian X 3D’. For a range of reasons this is a ‘must do’ to protect and provide custodianship for the objects that any museum holds. But what a huge job it is. The numbers are just staggering. Just a few years ago we would not have been able to handle the massive data sets easily or to have a process that was fast enough to consider implementing such an ambitious plan.

Why is the Smithsonian 3d Laser Scanning – Digitising The Future?

Just a few of the things that come to mind for me are as follows:

  • Protects crucial information about the object for the future
  • Gives a benchmark for indentifying degradation over time
  • Provides digital viewing over the internet for students, researchers and the public
  • Enables interested parties to download and 3d Print the object
  • Opens up the potential for much faster study of important historic objects by distributed teams
  • Allows reproductions of the highly degradeable objects to be 3d Printed thus protecting the originals

Technology is moving so fast that there is now no impediments to doing the job. So the Smithsonian is putting the project onto one of its highest priority projects.

So What Technologies Are Enabling This?

3d Digitizer by cultlab3d
3d Digitizer by cultlab3d

So What About The Big Stuff?

Here’s how the do some of the big items.

3d Scanner Smithsonian
3d Scanner Smithsonian

What About The REALLY Big Stuff


3d-scanning-drones CultLab
3d-scanning-drones CultLab

The vast number of items that need to digitised or 3d Scanned is immense. What has been done to date?

Smithsonian Digitization Programme – Facts & Figures

The Smithsonian holds 137m objects and 2m library volumes in its collections 14m objects have been prioritised for Digitization, including type and representative specimen from the Collections 1.3m objects have already been digitized, representing around 9% of the priority group The Smithsonian holds 137,000 cubic feet of archival material 86,000 cubic feet (63% of the total) of archival holdings have been selected for digitization< Circa. 24,000 cubic feet has already been digitized (28% of priority group) The Smithsonian has currently created 7m electronic records about its object collections The material already digitized can be accessed online HERE

Courtesy of http://www.collectionstrust.org.uk/past-posts/in-the-loop-2-days-with-the-smithsonian-digitization-programme

What Does It Mean To You?

Well you can check out some awesome stuff on A TOUR HERE. Particularly worth a look is ABRAHAM LINCOLN LIFE MASK.   Seeing things rotating with a swipe of your mouse is just amazing. So if you are sitting there with your 3d Printer wondering what you can print out to wow your friends, then the Smithsonian X 3D project is there for the taking. You can search out and download files on things like the Lincoln Life Mask. DOWNLOADS How awesome is that. It would certainly freak out some of your more conservative friends to have a nice replica of that on your home bar.

Check out the Facebook Page for Smithsonian X 3D HERE 

Here Is The Smithsonian X 3D Project Overview Video

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