Smithsonian Open Access - access 3 million 2D and 3D stuff for free

This sounds amazing. No need to worry about copyright and asking permission. It’s all free.

Smithsonian Open Access | Smithsonian Institution (

Warning. The 3D files are huge and a .ply format?

After downloading one ply file that is 94mb and then 7zipped it, the size became 11mb. Saving it as a blend makes it 30 mb and 11mb 7zipped. Smithsonians should have made a script that zipped all these files instead of raw download.


Alright. You can import ply in blender, no problem. However the vertices are not merged. You have to do it yourself.

Thanks for sharing. I had a quick look. Do they only have bones and teeth, or also other types of meshes?

There are a few statues. Searching for obj gives this :

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Holy smokes!!! I tried obj full res download it worked a treat, fully uv unwrapped and everything. First person to make an old antiques shop render with a nice old workdesk and loads of odd relics, covered in dust and spider webs and a nice old window with light coming through or candles… heh.

Proof it works. 1 million verts but decimated down to 70k using decimate modifier and collapse.


Whole bunch of renders of the Charlie Parker Alto Sax OBJ. Using it for lighting/rendering and post compositing practice


Nice… Great use of the models