15 November 2013

Smithsonian's 3D scanned models are now available to the public

Vairochana, the Cosmic Buddha. Source: http://3d.si.edu/

Vairochana, the Cosmic Buddha. Source: http://3d.si.edu/

Woolly Mammoth. Source: http://3d.si.edu/

Woolly Mammoth. Source: http://3d.si.edu/

The Smithsonian Institute recently started a vast campaign of digitisation of valuable pieces in its huge collection, which slightly differs from what was out there until now. 

The Smithsonian X 3D project, in fact, adds a third dimension to the digitised items, and gives also the possibility to download and 3D-print the models for educational purposes.

The 3D-digitised objects can be freely enjoyed directly in the web browser, thanks to the support to the WebGL technology offered by most of the browsers.

Those 3D models represent at the moment just a tiny fraction of all the Smithonian's collections, but nevertheless they are a very valuable example of how the technology can help to improve the cultural experience.

Infact, according to Günter Waibel, Director of the Digitization Program Office at the Smithsonian , "Curators and educators can use 3D data as the scaffolding to tell stories or send students on a quest of discovery"

Stefano Sbarbati







  • PIN - Università di Firenze
  • Salzburg Research
  • Universidade de Coimbra
  • Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Universitatea de Vest din Timisoara
  • MFG Baden-Württemberg

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