Tag Archives: Smithsonian Institute

Smithsonian Offers 3D Printing from their Amazing Collection

This life mask was taken on February 11, 1865, a day before Abraham Lincoln’s fifty-sixth birthday, by sculptor Clark Mills. The 3-D object above is a 1917 copy from the casting given to the Smithsonian in 1889 by the sculptor’s son.

The Smithsonian Institution now offers a 3D archive of historic artifacts available for viewing, downloading, and printing.  Because the site just launched and it is in beta, there are only 20 items available for printing.  Among those 20 artifacts are a sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln’s head, the Wright brothers’ 1903 Flyer, China’s ancient Cosmic Buddha, the American Revolution’s Gunboat Philadelphia, and Amelia Earhart’s Flight Suit.

After registering on the X 3D site, anyone can view and download the 3D images for personal or educational use by enabling Web GL, a JavaScript API that renders 3D graphics in a browser, and then print them on a 3D printer.   Watch this great video introduction to the project here.  Start printing historical artifacts here.


Preservation Tips: Sticky Photo Albums

Example of the ubiquitous sticky photo album.

In this short, informative video, a conservator from the Smithsonian Institute Archives easily explains how to remove photographs from those horrible sticky photo albums.

The only equipment you need is dental floss!

View the video here:  http://www.youtube.com/user/SIArchives.