From the Wikimedia Blog:
Wikimedia projects have long been a treasure trove of 2D images, audio, and video. Now you can upload 3D models of objects to share a new perspective on subjects. These models can be manipulated in a web browser with our new Multimedia Viewer extension, which enables visitors to rotate the model and see it from multiple viewpoints. This means objects like a 12th century knight’s helmet, or a bird figure from Nigeria, or even a working jet engine model can be uploaded, downloaded, 3D printed, and viewed with enhanced interactivity on Wikimedia sites.
There are tens of thousands of 3D object files available under Wikimedia-compatible licenses from many existing sources including Youmagine, Sketchfab, Thingiverse, and Myminifactory as well as many organizations producing 3D models including the European Space Agency and the Smithsonian.
This launch is our first foray into 3D, and we’re starting carefully. The new 3D upload feature will initially only support the .STL file format, the format most commonly used by 3D printers. These 3D files will show a static preview image when viewing, and an interactive viewer will load when that preview image is clicked. In the future, after feedback from our community, we’ll consider adding support for even more complex file types that support features like textures.
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Scan the World is the non-profit art and sculpture segment of 3D file hosting website MyMiniFactory, accounting for more than 10,000 of the site’s 40,000+ guaranteed 3D printable files. Beck, the project’s founder and curator, has been in conversation with Wikimedia Commons since the development stages of the 3D model uploading tool.
“Wikipedia has always been a great influence on Scan the World’s collaborative approach for the democratization of culture and dissemination of knowledge,” said Beck, “as well as encouraging us to push for disrupting institutions to open their data to the public.
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