In Brief

The institution is printing and scanning various items from its vault to allow the pieces to be displayed in more than one place simultaneously.

The Smithsonian has started a new initiative to make its enormous collection more accessible. It includes a series of 3D printed models of its archive items and a digital archive of scanned objects. These could be exhibited at museums, schools and other places to enable more people to have access to them.

CNET reports that only 2% of the Smithsonian’s 137 million items is available to the public at any one time. That is why it is planning a digital archive of 3D models, which could then be printed and displayed to expand their reach.

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