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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...


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

        • 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. Josiah Smith on

    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).

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

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