The Smithsonian Museum has recently decided to create 3D scans of many objects from their collection. Starting with Thomas Jefferson’s statue and continuing with many other items from the museum, the 3D scans will be used in 3D printers and copies will be created for some of those. In other cases, the 3D scans will be kept in digital form, which could be printed later, or they could just be used to help with the restoration when needed.
Imagine how useful it could be for students to have exact replicas of items from museums. These 3D printed objects could be created in the school’s own 3D printer, based on the 3D files downloaded from sites of museums. Just as easily you could have a scale model toy of the Apollo Lunar Module for your kid.
An initial collection of 3D models of primates, fossils and artifacts can be admired on their site right now. As for the 3D printed statues of Thomas Jefferson, the replica was created so it could be displayed in the museum, as part of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. You can see a picture of this 3D replica below.