From CNET:

A new effort under way at the world’s largest museum and research institution could eventually mean more of its 137 million objects will be publicly available, even if just via 3D digital models.


CNET has learned that the Smithsonian has a new initiative to create a series of 3D-printed models, exhibits, and scientific replicas–as well as to generate a new digital archive of 3D models of many of the physical objects in its collection.


According to Adam Metallo, a 3D digitization coordinator at the Smithsonian, the team working on the Jefferson replica project decided that rather than use a traditional method involving rubber molding and casting, they would utilize modern technologies. Taking a Minolta laser scanner worth well up to $100,000 along, they contracted with Studio EIS to generate an intricately detailed 3D model of the statue that was then turned into the 3D printed replica…

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