Web-based 3d content is still in its awkward adolescent stage, similar to web-based video circa 2001: there are viewers out there but they require plugins or special software, the navigation can be limited or downright frustrating, and — while there’s some decent content available — there’s not a good way of finding or seeing it.

Enter Sketchfab. Like a cross between the free-for-all model sharing of the 3d Warehouse and the easy-viewing and clean organization of Vimeo, Sketchfab is a site that allows easy sharing and viewing of 3d models.

Because it uses WebGL — a graphics library already included in most modern browsers (Internet Explorer and iOS are notable exceptions) — you can see the model in 3d without installing any special plugins or programs. And the viewer can be embedded into a webpage for easy sharing (see below). It also allows allows models to be exported from a variety of programs, including 3d Studio Max, Maya, Blender, Solidworks, and Sketchup.

A great new option for showing off 3d content!

A standard front bicycle light, exploded and assembled:

The prototype of the HotShot organic herbicide sprayer:

Jason Nolin was an illustrator at Fat Pencil Studio from 2010-2013.