Tag Archives: 3D

3D Printing the Smithsonian

If you’ve been debating about whether or not to get a 3D printer for your school, the Smithsonian Institution has given you another argument in favor of making that purchase. If you’re familiar with the Smithsonian’s X 3D program hosts a repository of 3D scanned items from the Smithsonian’s collection! These high definition scans are not your traditional 3D virtual objects – I promise they feel like you’re view ing it in real life! You can rotate and view objects in 3 Dimensions for free!

Now, the Smithsonian has begun to place objects from the x 3D program into a digital catalogue that will allow you to make a 3D model using a relatively inexpensive 3D printer. The most recent addition the Lincoln Life Mask.

3D Printer, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

3D Printer, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In a recent article, Secretary of the Smithsonian G. Wayne Clough highlights the boon this provides for both scholars and educators. Check out his article, “How Will 3D Printing Change the Smithsonian?

Digital Roman Archaeology

The famous Serapium at Hadrian's Villa, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The famous Serapium at Hadrian’s Villa, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My friend and former Professor Bernie Frischer, Ph.D. has just formally launched his Digital Archaeology Project of Hadrian’s Villa. The Roman Emperor Hadrian built his luxury Villa at Tivoli during the 2nd century CE.

The Digital Hadrian’s Villa allows visitors to examine sections of site via plans, images, 360° panoramic views, as well as 3D walkthroughs. It also includes videos and interviews with prominent scholars. This is an amazing, and free, resource for scholars and laypersons interested in Roman history and archaeology!

Smithsonian 3D Scanning its Collection

The Smithsonian is 3D scanning its collection to preserve it for future generations. Curators have prioritized more than 14 million objects for digitized preservation.  See the full article at Engadget. Check out the video of the process of scanning and preserving the Gunboat Philadelphia.

Explore the Pyramids in 3D Online

Giza 3DA new website, Giza 3D, has launched on which you can explore the Giza Pyramids online in 3D. The project was launched by engineering firm Dassault Systèmes under direction of Harvard University and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

What makes the website and project unique is that it is not simply a 3D rendition of the pyramids, but rather incorporates up to date archaeological and historical data into its mapping as well as allows users to explore art work, writings, and architecture in high resolution detail. Users can explore finds (that are now in museums) in their original positioning and have interactive access to research.

To learn more about this project, visit the Giza 3D website and read the in depth article at Discovery News.

Werner Herzog Discusses Film & Archaeology

Famed German film director Werner Herzog was recently granted access to the Chauvet Caves, which he filmed for an soon-to-be released film on paleolithic art in France. The film entitled “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams” focuses on the early peoples of France and the earliest creations of human art.

Herzog granted an interview to Archaeology Magazine in which he discussed the unique challenges of filming the site as well as the privilege of being trusted with its memorial.

ARCHAEOLOGY: There are hundreds of ancient sites in the world that have really fascinating artwork. What was it that attracted you to Chauvet?

WERNER HERZOG: It is one of the greatest and most sensational discoveries in human culture and, of course, what is so fascinating is that it was preserved as a perfect time capsule for 20,000 years. The quality of the art, which is from a time so far, so deep back in history, is stunning. It’s not that we have what people might call the primitive beginnings of painting and art. It is right there as if it had burst on the scene fully accomplished. That is the astonishing thing, to understand that the modern human soul somehow awakened. It is not a long slumber and a slow, slow, slow awakening. I think it was a fairly sudden awakening. But when I say “sudden” it may have gone over 20,000 years or so. Time does not factor in when you go back into such deep prehistory.

The film was recorded and produced in 3D, a new technique for Herzog and premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Read the full interview in this Archaeology Magazine article and listen to the audio from the interview here.