Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Smithsonian Is 3-D Printing the Museum Collections

Yes that is true... the Smithsonian is planning on reproducing many of the key pieces in their collection. How exactly are they doing this? The museum will be 3-D scanning and printing full-scale replicas starting with a statue of Thomas Jefferson and eventually every item in the National Air and Space Museum

CNET reports that that some 3-D scanned items will become 3-D printouts, and others will remain digital models (which could also conceivably be printed, or used to help restoration efforts). Replicas would probably go to schools or other museums, but it would be fairly simple to put the plans online somewhere and let people hook up their own laser sintering devices.  CNET has the scoop on how curators used a $100,000 Minolta laser scanner and worked with Studio EIS to generate a 3-D model, and studio RedEye on Demand to generate a 3-D printout. 

via popsci

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