The Smithsonian is 3D-scanning its collection for future generations

The Smithsonian has been experimenting with 3D scanning for some time now, using tools like laser arm scanners to map models of whale fossils and other ancient artifacts. Now the museum is utilizing the technology to preserve its collection for posterity. Its "laser cowboys" Vince Rossi and Adam Metallo are working full-time to record items for future generations, as part of an extensive effort to digitize 14 million prioritized objects (a list that also includes artwork and lab specimen). After the break, check out a video of the team working to preserve a digital copy of the Philadelphia gunboat, America's oldest fighting vessel.