It looks like you're using an ad blocker! I really need the income to keep this site running.
If you enjoy BlenderNation and you think it’s a valuable resource to the Blender community, please take a moment to read how you can support BlenderNation.

Mayo Clinic Wax Models

An interesting read on the digital recreation of historic medical wax models.

John Fino writes:

Last year, I put together two projects to show how Blender could be used in historic interpretation (museums, historic sites, archaeological sites, etc.) and presented at the National Association for Interpretation's National Workshop, which was held here in Minnesota (in November).

One of those two projects was to create digital replicas of wax medical models from the historic archives of Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN. I really didn't know what I was doing when I started, and along the way experimented with laser scanning, structured light scanning, and photogrammetry. When I finally got meshes into Blender, retopology was tough until the Bsurfaces 1.5 add-on got GPL'd - awesome stuff. I learned how to projection paint, and most recently, made good use of the Sketchfab uploader add-on.

For all (well, not all) the messy details of how I got from point A to point B (by way of points R, T, and G), I've put up a post on my blog.

The gallery of the completed models can be found at my website.

Do be warned, some of them are a bit graphic - though I decided against re-creating any of the "farm accident" models...


  • Pavel Shabanov

    how much poligons does sketchfab support?

    • Sketchfab

      @google-655c2c736fdbd7eeff388173d276421d:disqus There is no poligons limit. You just need to keep in mind that too many poligons will slow down the navigation.

      • Pavel Shabanov

        thx 4 the answr

    • John Fino

      For reference, these models are about 4-5,000 polygons - I purposely tried to keep it as low as possible to view on as many machines as possible.

  • Brian Lockett

    SketchFabulous. Looking forward to more SketchFab posted here on BlenderNation.

    • Sketchfab

      Thanks! Have you tried the blender exporter? >

      • Brian Lockett

        Yep, I've got it installed. Just waiting to texture my latest model and then I'll finally use it. ;)

  • R- Lee

    Interesting service. Didn't knew of sketchfab before.

  • totoche

    There's no zoom in Sketchfab????

    • Sketchfab

      Yes there is, with your mouse wheel in orbit mode, or w/Z key in person mode, check our faq

    • totoche

      got it, mousewheel, but I don't know why it doesn't work on the embeded model, but it work on Sketchfab website.

      • Sketchfab

        That's weird... What about full screen mode from the embed? What's your computer, OS, browser?

        • totoche

          nope doesn't in fullscreen either in the embeded version, actually after some tests, on the website sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't and I have to refresh the page for it to work. I doubt it comes from my mouse cause I never had a problem with it.

          Anybody else had this problem?

          OS : windows vista 32bit
          Browser : Chrome 21.0.1180.15
          Mouse : miscrosoft usb optical mouse

  • thehumbug

    You may want to change the viewer on the newsfeed to a thumbnail, and leave the viewer here in the article, for those with poor bandwidth or older computers.

    • Bart Veldhuizen

      I don't believe I have any way of doing that, sorry.

  • Mankiw

    Is there any add-on to get it off line? For example I want to have a html file that gets this off line. In my own computer, not through Sketchfab. Thanks in advance. Regards.

    • John Fino

      Not that is as simple as Sketchfab, that I know of. I considered, at one point, using Blender's game engine to replicate something like this. I didn't get far with it, but I bet you could use logic to create something like this, offline.

  • Makiw

    Why have you erased my message?

    • Bart Veldhuizen

      Sorry but I can't find any other messages by you in the spam box or in the deleted comments. I didn't remove anything.

    • Chaos

      Maybe you browser??

  • Josiah Smith

    Nice! I met you at the first MinnBUG meeting. Glad to see such nice results and your project moving along. Hopefully I'll be able to get to another meeting sometime.
    Oh and zooming seems to work fine on the embed on this page (running Debian, Firefox 13).

    • John Fino

      Thanks! The MinnBUG groups have been really helpful for me - here's hoping I'll see you at another.

  • blenderhead


Share this story: