Return to site

Realistic 3D Objects From Famous Museums, Free

Today Sketchfab announced that it has added over 1600 public domain 3D models from the Smithsonian Institution and 25 other museums and cultural organizations. The Smithsonian Institution is participating as part of their newly launched open-access initiative. Hosting almost four million objects, Sketchfab is the Internet’s main repository of 3D images and is integrated with every major 3D creation tool and publishing platform for XR. Its library is over 100 times larger than those in the game engines’ respective stores.

Sketchfab works as a marketplace for 3D objects, whose prices are set by the creators. When you buy that fabulous virtual spaceship, Sketchfab takes a cut. There’s a lot of free content, but it’s minuscule compared to the gargantuan collection of 3D detritus from every 3D world ever created. The vast majority are not for sale, they’re just showing off what’s hosted there. And a lot of it is stuff like trees. Adding this much free content at once is a boost for casual users of Sketchfab.

Any cultural organization using Sketchfab can now dedicate their 3D scans and models to the Public Domain using the Creative Commons (CC) Public Domain Dedication. The update also makes it even easier for 3D creators to download and reuse, re-imagine, and remix incredible ancient and modern artifacts, objects, and scenes. 3D artists, filmmakers, VR & AR creatives, 3D print studios, brands, 3D hobbyists and everyone in between can dive right in and incorporate classic and ancient 3D data into their workflows-even for commercial purposes-without any need to credit the original creator.

“With the introduction of the CC dedication for cultural heritage content, Sketchfab continues to foster ongoing artistic and academic reuse of 3D data under clear and easily understandable terms,” said Sketchfab founder and CEO Alban Denoyel in a statement. “With thousands of museums, libraries, art galleries, and archaeological projects already using Sketchfab to share their 3D data online, the platform wants to make it easy for organizations to align their digital 3D collections with their open access policies.”


See how 3D artists are already remixing cultural and historical 3D models in this collection.

The following institutions have already created CC0 collections:

  • ADD & 4D, ES
  • Arms Museum, RU
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, US
  • Digital Archive of Natural History (DiNArDa), DE
  • Digital Atlas of Ancient Life, US
  • Digital Heritage Age, Digital Counties Project, EI
  • Faroe Islands National Museum, DK
  • Ingenium, CA
  • Jena — Lichtstadt, DE
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art, US
  • Morbase Museu Virtual, PTS
  • Musée Saint-Raymond, FR
  • Museus de Sitges, ES
  • Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Chile, CL
  • Niederösterreich 3D, AT
  • RLA Archaeology, US
  • Science Museum Group, UK
  • Scottish Maritime Museum, UK
  • The Smithsonian Institution, US
  • SMK — National Gallery of Denmark, DK
  • State Darwin Museum, RU
  • Sterlitamak BashSU Archaeological Museum, RU
  • The Cable Center, US
  • University of Dundee Museum Collections, UK
  • Världskulturmuseerna, SE
  • Virtual Curation Lab, US
  • Western Science Center, US
This could be a bug, or a monster, depending on how you scale it. Sketchfab

Originally published at

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!