Re-Imagine the National Monuments Through Virtual Reality and 3D Printing

What to Know

  • CyArk is giving virtual reality tours of Mount Rushmore as part of the National Park Service Centennial celebration.
  • Visitors can also create models of national models using a 3D printer.
  • The event is on Saturday at Constitution Gardens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This weekend, climb President Lincoln's chin on Mount Rushmore and pick up the tools used to carve the iconic sculpture without ever leaving Washington, D.C.

CyArk, a nonprofit organization dedicated to digitally preserving and archiving monuments worldwide, is making the adventure possible through virtual reality.

All day Saturday, CyArk will give visitors a one-of-a-kind view of Mount Rushmore as part of the National Park Service's 100th anniversary celebration on the National Mall.

Anyone who participates in the virtual reality experience will receive a free Google Cardboard viewer to continue their adventures at home.

Attendees can also print their own models of National Mall monuments and memorials using 3D printers while learning more about the digital preservation process.

CyArk uses 3D laser scanning, photogrammetry and traditional survey techniques to create digital archives of cultural heritage sites around the world.

The organization was founded in 2003 after the Taliban destroyed the 1600 year-old Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan. CyArk says it aims to have a 3D library of such sites before they are destroyed by human aggression, lost to natural disasters or ravaged by the passage of time.

The America's Front Yard Family Festival is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Constitution Gardens. Visitors can also enjoy live music, storytelling and other family activities.

For those who can’t attend the event, the models will be available online at for all to explore, re-design and 3D print.

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