Research & Education

Smithsonian celebrates new Deep Time exhibit with 3D printable dinosaurs

The Institute's Digitization project continues to (slowly) grow

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The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. is celebrating the upcoming opening of the new Deep Time exhibit on early Earth by releasing detailed 3D scans and 3D printable files of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops, which are part of the ongoing Smithsonian Digitization project.

Opening June 8, 2019, the new, 31,000-square-foot fossil hall invites visitors to explore the epic story of how Earth’s distant past is connected to the present and informs our future. Deep Time starts at the very beginning—4.6-billion-years ago. But it ends in the future. Along the way, visitors will travel through ancient ecosystems, experience the evolution of plant and animal life, and get up close with some 700 specimens, including an Alaskan palm tree, early insects, reptiles and mammals, and dramatically posed giants like Tyrannosaurus rex, Diplodocus and the woolly mammoth.

Deep Time

Unlike past extinction and warming events, human activities are driving Earth’s rapidly changing climate today. The exhibition will give visitors tools to interpret the past, present, and future and see how the choices they make today will live far beyond them, in deep time.

To celebrate the opening of the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils – Deep Time on Saturday, June 8, 2019. The Smithsonian is organizing special hours and events all weekend long, while also leveraging the ongoing Digitization project, which began creating digital reproductions of the millions of artifacts in the Smithsonian collection.

The level and quality of 3D scanning underway at the Smithsonian clearly require lengthy processes, but the project is ongoing. After all, the Earth was not created in one day, nor will its digital twin. Currently, there are over 100 3D models, most of which can be downloaded and even 3D printed. Some of the most fascinating ones include perfect reproductions of the Apollo 11 and, now, the T-Rex and Triceratops created for the Deep Time exhibit.


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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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