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Smithsonian unveils 3-D scans

on November 13, 2013 10:19 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — With most of its 137 million objects kept behind the scenes or in a faraway museum, the Smithsonian Institution is launching a new 3-D scanning and printing initiative to make more of its massive collection accessible to schools, researchers and the public worldwide.

A small team has begun creating 3-D models of some key objects that represent the breadth of the collection at the world’s largest museum complex. Some of the first 3-D scans include the Wright brothers’ first airplane, Amelia Earhart’s flight suit, casts of President Abraham Lincoln’s face during the Civil War and a Revolutionary War gunboat.

Now the Smithsonian is launching a new 3-D viewer online to give people a closer look at artifacts in their own homes. The data can also be downloaded, re-created with a 3-D printer and used to help illustrate lessons in history, art and science in schools.

 

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