You Can 3D Print Your Own Mini Museum

Funerary mask, new empire, end of the 18th dynasty (circa 1330-1300 BC), provenance unknown, stuccoed and painted wood, textiles, colored glass paste. (made with Capturing Reality; via Geoffrey Marchal)

Admit it, you’ve always fancied yourself something of a curator of ancient statuary! For those looking to turn their desk, bookshelf, or dashboard into a gallery of Grecco-Roman masterpieces, Sketchfab user DL (@leinadien) has created a wonderous collection of statues throughout art history, rendered for 3D printing. The collection holds nearly 500 individual models by different Sketchfab contributors, and the possibilities are endless. For example, give the Little Free Library down the block all the gravitas with none of the cinematic curses, with this Egyptian funerary mask by Geoffrey Marchal.

“3D scans are a great way to share cultural heritage with the world,” says Marchal in his Sketchfab bio. “I mainly use photogrammetry and Memento beta from Autodesk.” Marchal also shares 3D models through “Scan the world,” a project by MyMiniFactory.

Eirene (Goddess of Peace) with Ploutus (God of Wealth) (374 CE) (made with Memento Beta; via Geoffrey Marchal)

Many of the models in DL’s “Great Statues” collection (and beyond) are free to download; others may require a fee — for example, this Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) model priced at $19.95. While there’s no need to go out of pocket to begin your small statuary collection, I think we can all agree that $20 is a reasonable price to own this fountain in the Piazza Navona in Rome, designed in 1651 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for Pope Innocent X. The original would sell for probably six or seven times that much, and is significantly more difficult to rotate so you can see it from any angle … what a steal!

Mercury About to Kill Argos” by Bertel Thorvaldsen, digitized as part of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums Plus project

Of course, downloading the file is just the first step. Once you’ve settled upon, say, “Mercury About to Kill Argos” by Bertel Thorvaldsen, you still have to connect to a 3D printer in order to print it out. Only then can leave it on the office snoop’s desk as a warning that vengeance comes on swift wings to those who fail to mind their own business. However, 3D model collecting is not limited to those who wish to menace coworkers in the physical realm; this particular model is part of Malopolska’s Virtual Museum, which features an eclectic collection presented in virtual space.

So whether you’re ready to offer your pet tarantula a scarab beetle to class us the terrarium, pay tribute to your therapist with a statue of Amor and Psyche, or just begin a virtual statuary collection to round out your contemporary wing full of NFTs, Sketchfab has you covered. Happy printing!

A 3D rendering of Hussar half-armor, digitized as part of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums Plus project

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