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How the Smithsonian is embracing 3D

At the Smithsonian Institution, a small team is working to digitize select parts of the museum's collections with 3D-scanning technology.

A 3D-printed bust of President Obama. (Photo courtesy of the White House)

Museums might be telling stories from the past, but they’re using some very 21st-century tools to do so.
In D.C., the Smithsonian Institution hires three 3D digitization specialists, who go through the museum’s catalogs and chose the most representative objects to scan.
3D Program Officer Vincent Rossi described his work during an event at the Baltimore School for the Arts last Thursday. Baltimore has the details:

The small staff functions a lot like a startup, Rossi said. To make the most of their limited resources, they seek out different kinds of objects that represent a specific category of the institution’s holdings. That way, they can demonstrate how 3D scanning and printing is can benefit each department. They also use the experience to start creating ways to scale their workflow to fit that department’s needs.
“We’re trying to digitize objects that represent the breadth of the collections at the Smithsonian,” said Rossi’s fellow 3D Program Officer, Adam Metallo.

The team’s work has included a 3D scan of a remnant from the Cassiopeia A supernova, the skeleton of a Chilean Rorqual whale and Barack Obama.
Click through for some awesome images:
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Companies: Smithsonian

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