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Print out the Wright Flyer
November 14, 2013 11:49 PM   Subscribe

On Wednesday, The Smithsonian launched a new 3D viewer on its website featuring a selection of its digitised collection, some of which are also available for 3D printing.
posted by MartinWisse (10 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
wonderful!...can't wait for more scans.
This is what makes the internet a great tool.
posted by quazichimp at 1:23 AM on November 15, 2013


I must be less awake than I thought - I just spent a good minute making the woolly mammoth fossil dance around to Ministry's "Jesus Built My Hotrod". Except it wasn't really dancing, it was just moving the mouse up and down and changing the perspective.

And yet this was the greatest thing I could do.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:34 AM on November 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


That Wright Flyer model is fantastic. I've never seen the actual thing, and I'm getting to see details I never knew were there.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:03 AM on November 15, 2013


The wright flyer exhibit in the air and space museum is one of the best museum exhibits I've ever seen. Really tells their life story, sets the context, includes interactive exhibits that explain flight, and lots of primary sources and eye witness testimony, etc. Definitely go see it if you're in DC.
posted by empath at 4:12 AM on November 15, 2013


Needs more Oculus Rift.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:37 AM on November 15, 2013


Given how a lot of museums can only display a fraction of their artifacts at a time, digital banks of 3-D models like this will allow any of us to enjoy everything in all the museums all the time, instead of relying on the luck of the draw to be in the right place when a museum that you happen to be near shows something wonderful. Loans? Tours? Behind-the-scenes tours? Never again, there'll be no point!

In other words, we will all be able to dig through The Nation's Attic any time we want to play dress-up or put on a show. :7) Hurray!
posted by wenestvedt at 5:36 AM on November 15, 2013


That Wright Flyer model is fantastic. I've never seen the actual thing, and I'm getting to see details I never knew were there.

This is one thing that the Smithsonian's director of digitization was excited about in the NPR piece I heard recently, the ability for people to see items like they never could, even if they came to the museums in person.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:38 AM on November 15, 2013


Hello THE FUCKING FUTURE.
posted by Apropos of Something at 7:59 AM on November 15, 2013


That Wright Flyer model is fantastic. I've never seen the actual thing, and I'm getting to see details I never knew were there.

Yeah, when I pressed control and zoomed into the center, I simultaneously gasped and squealed.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:02 AM on November 15, 2013


It claims it will work on Safari or Chrome on a Mac if WebGL is enabled. It doesn't work.

Oops... Your browser doesn't support 3D graphics.
The Smithsonian X 3D Explorer is a modern 3D web application. It requires an up-to-date browser supporting WebGL 3D graphics.


No, your 3D graphics doesn't support browsers.
The Smithsonian X 3D Explorer is a primitive 3D web application. It requires substantial upgrading to be compatible with up-to-date browsers supporting WebGL 3D graphics.

If you want to print out a Wright Flyer, I highly recommend the classic Great International Paper Airplane Book. It has a photograph of a paper model of the Wright Flyer, made of graph paper. I counted all the tiny squares, and reproduced it. Yes, it flies, about as well as the original Flyer. Which is to say, it does not so much fly as plummet.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:59 PM on November 15, 2013


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