With the ease and popularity of 3D scanning, we’re seeing more and more cultural artifacts appearing on Sketchfab. We’re firm believers that the easier it is to share, the easier it is to learn about our shared cultural heritage. To support this, we are giving all cultural institutions free Business accounts, and have curated all the participating museums on a dedicated Museums Page.
Future-thinking museums like the British Museum have digital departments dedicated to scanning and cataloging their collections in 3D. Some like the Brooklyn Museum provide free rein for visitors to scan and print their collections. While others like the Musee d’Archeologie Nationale in France have integrated 3D models on their own website for visitors to browse.
The benefits of digitizing a collection give museums new ways of studying, preserving and even recreating history. Allowing a researcher to inspect an object too delicate to be handled, and a way to display normally archived or stored works. The educational benefits expand as well – where students may have sat sketching works in the past, they can now 3D scan them, manipulate the models and even 3D print them to further study.
All over the world, people are crowdsourcing digital heritage reconstruction like the cultural map project and Project Mosul, which seeks to digitize history destroyed by war. You can browse our archeology category to see this and more crowdsourced content.
With all this history and art being uploaded, it means that without leaving your screen you can explore places like ancient Egypt via the British Museum:
Browse the Horniman’s wondrous creatures:
See underwater reconstructions of shipwrecks from The Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society:
Archaeologists are also increasingly using Sketchfab to document and digitize their dig sites and provide a glimpse into a usually remote and inaccessible pursuit. Here’s a great example of the anatomy of a dig site: