Conservation work isn’t only about repairing damage, but preventing that damage from happening. That is the motivation behind the innovative 3D scanning work being done at The Smithsonian Institute’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Here, work to protect objects at their most vulnerable—en route to an exhibition or loan—is simplified by 3D scanning.

By first scanning objects in 3D, the conservation team is able to create cavity packs and trays that perfectly support even the most unconventional works; evenly distributing weight and matching each contour. And, as one of the world’s leading museums of contemporary and modern art, there are plenty of unconventional objects to navigate at the Hirshhorn.

The team also uses this technology to determine any dimensional changes in an art work post-loan or -exhibit by comparing before and after scans.

Learn more about how this Gallery Systems client is using 3D scanning in this video from the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office.