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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