Kesa, I believe GRABCAD has the ability to set up a Virtual Museum of technology whereby models could be accessed through a database with various inputs (ie,chronological time periods, categories, materials, etc.), the general grouped search criteria could easily be accessed through drop down tree directories. The use of 3D PDF's as well as animated exploded views would visually convey the model & build methodology of the historical time frame and pivotal points of advancement. There are a lot of models already on GRABCAD for reference but it could be tied in with actual Museums that would like to have electronic parametric graphic copies of their exhibits whom may offer a barter trade (access passes, etc). Interface would be completed between GRABCAD’rs through the Users Groups to mate up with institutes requesting modelled items whereby a Projects Collective group could be created for assignment of models or components to be created.
The virtual museum would take up less space & maintenance upkeep for actual items compared to the electronic virtual environment as well as create a ready access from anywhere in the world. But more importantly it would preserve historical data & methodology. Further socio~economic aspects could be tied in with the driving forces of the time (ie politics & military disputes, productivity, social & economic factors driving the creative motivation).
The recent loss of the Brazilian museum is a good reason for doing this virtual preservation work for the benefit of all.
Just a thought