The National Museum of Natural History now has the 3D-printed fossil of a whale on display. 3D Systems is working in partnership with the Smithsonian in order to bring fossils to the 21st Century by 3D-printing more than 20 artifacts in order to show them to visitors in the exact same way that they were found in nature.
The masterpiece of the project is a prehistoric fossil of a whale found in the Chilean desert. The 3D-printed version of the rorqual is 20 feet in length.
This whale was found in one of the largest fossil sites discovered in recent years and the actual fossil is on display in museums in the Chilean cities of Caldera and Santiago, however a 3D-printed version of it is available for all to see in the United States as well.
“We are honored and excited to be part of this visionary Smithsonian initiative,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3DS, “To increase the visibility and accessibility of our national treasures for all.”
Not only did 3D Systems and the Smithsonian collaborate on actual physical 3D-printed pieces for all to see in the museum, they also worked together to create an interesting website “the Smithsonian 3D“. Videos, animated gifs and pictures explain thoroughly the process of 3D-printing these masterful fossils and artifacts.
Every single step in the creation of these 3D models, from design and scan to printing, is documented on the website. Moreover there’s a software called Smithsonian X 3D Explorer in which visitors of the website can cyber-manipulate the 3D objects of the collection.
A series of nine videos explains in depth the amount of work required and the tools used by the joint teams of 3D Systems and the Smithsonian. They can all be found on the website. These videos are overviews of what’s going on in the museum and can be used as educational tools.
Reichental, President and CEO of 3DS, says that “the Smithsonian has shown both foresight and technological leadership in embracing the potential of 3D printing to preserve and showcase today’s and tomorrow’s collections, making them readily available to a global audience while demonstrating the power of 3D printing in a compelling and meaningful way.”
The whole collection, which includes fossils as small as 12 inches in length to as large as the 20-foot whale, is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue in Washington DC; admission is free and the museum is open from 10am to 5:30pm daily. Discuss this story at the ‘3D printed fossil‘ forum thread at 3DPB.com. Check out the video below.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
Velo3D Is the First Metal 3D Printer OEM with the Highest-Level DoD Cybersecurity Compliance
Velo3D, the metal additive manufacturing (AM) original equipment manufacturer (OEM) based in Fremont, CA, has become the first metal AM OEM to achieve Green Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) Compliance...
3D Printing Bunkers, Lemon Peels and Lamps for McDonalds
Phoenix-based Diamond Age wants to 3D print bunkers for Ukraine and thinks it will take six to nine months to test and make the bunkers. It hopes to test them...
Interview: GE Additive Provides Series 3 Metal Binder Jet Update
For another year running, I survived the bustling insanity that is formnext. With a reported 859 exhibitors, 196 speakers, 32,851 visitors (50% international), and 54,000 m² of exhibition space, Europe’s...
Stratasys CBO Weighs in on Navigating the Future with F3300 in 3D Printing Landscape
At Formnext 2023, we had the opportunity to speak with the Chief Industrial Business Officer of Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS), Rich Garrity. Having previously served as President of Stratasys Americas and...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.